Schumer and Durbin quickly closed ranks, saying they would oppose Hirono's proposal reluctantly.
In a gesture to Graham and Flake, Durbin said the two Republicans had "stood by the agreement when it wasn't easy politically. I feel duty-bound to do the same thing at this moment."
Graham said he understood the vote was tough for Democrats. "Sen. Flake and I have been voting for six days" against proposals they might otherwise have favored, "so glad to have you on board," he said.
Laughter filled the committee room.
Moments later, Hirono's amendment was rejected 11-7, another in an unbroken series of victories for the Gang of Eight.