Republicans blocked a last-ditch effort in the Senate to lift the military's ban on openly gay troops on Thursday, dealing a major blow to gay rights groups and making it unlikely Congress could repeal "don't ask, don't tell" any time soon. The 57-40 vote fell three short of the 60 needed to overcome procedural hurdles to lift the 17-year-old ban. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the lone Republican voting to advance the bill, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote against it. More than 60 senators were expected to support repeal, with at least four Republicans having said they support overturning "don't ask, don't tell." But GOP senators were united in demanding that the Senate vote on tax cuts first. They also wanted assurances by Reid they would be given extensive time debate on the defense bill, which contained other divisive provisions including one that would allow abortions at overseas military facilities. Democrats had said Thursday morning they remained hopeful a last-minute deal could be struck with Collins, believing her support would persuade other GOP senators - namely Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski - to advance the legislation. In the end, however, Reid said time was running out and called for a vote before a deal could be struck. Senate Blocks Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' I am honestly starting to hate them all. Reid was an *****, too. It's like someone gave them each a sack of kittens and told them that whoever drowns them all first wins.