The Senate has rejected a GOP bid to speed up and expand offshore oil drilling in the face of $4-a-gallon gasoline prices.

A procedural vote failed Wednesday, 57-42, on a GOP bid to speed decision-making on drilling permits and force the government to conduct previously scheduled lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off Virginia's coast. The sales were suspended after the BP oil spill.

The vote comes days after President Obama directed his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf and off Alaska's coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.

Both parties say they want to allow responsible oil and gas drilling, but they appear far apart on details.