Republicans, with help from a handful of Democrats, used a filibuster to block a measure that would have used the tax code to punish big companies that shut U.S. manufacturing plants and move the jobs overseas.
The Senate voted 53-45 in favor of the procedural motion, but Democratic leaders needed 60 to take the bill up.
Current tax law allows companies to benefit in a variety of ways when they move jobs overseas, including deducting the costs of closing American plants. The proposed bill would have raised taxes on companies that move manufacturing jobs out of the country and provide a tax incentive for companies that decide to bring them back.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, said it was an attempt to protect American workers and the bill "sends a simple message: stop shipping our jobs overseas."
But Republicans said they worried the bill could hurt the competitiveness of large American companies that still have a lot of American workers even if they do move some manufacturing plants to nations with cheaper labor.
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also slammed the bill as nothing but "gamesmanship" designed to help the Democrats in the upcoming elections.
It was in some ways a final parting shot for Democratic leaders, who have been unable to get much past Republican filibusters and will likely adjourn for the election as soon as they pass a continuing resolution, which is needed to keep the government operating after the fiscal year end on October 1st.
Bob Fuss is CBS Radio News' Capitol Hill Correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.