The Senate's decision to invoke the "nuclear option" and limit Republican opportunities to use the filibuster had the side-effect of blowing up work on the annual Pentagon policy legislation the body was considering Thursday.

Senators debated the defense bill into the evening on Wednesday, but the work came to an abrupt halt Thursday morning when Democrats moved to change the rules of the Senate.

The move puts into doubt the fate of the National Defense Authorization Act, the one piece of legislation that has been signed by the president for 51 consecutive years.

"This [nuclear option] blew it up," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "It harms the ability and desirability of people to work together."

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