After months of delay, the U.S. Senate might finally take up a key Pentagon policy bill.
“I hope so,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told Defense News on Tuesday (Nov. 27) when asked if the upper chamber would begin work on his panel’s bill later that day.
Levin and the committee’s top Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, were deep in conversation as the duo headed into their political parties’ weekly policy luncheons.
The duo has been going through the long list of amendments senators want to propose to the chamber’s 2013 defense authorization legislation for several week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had told them to move the bill during the current five-week lame duck session, they would have to limit the number amendments to an amount that could be debate in just a few days.
It appears Levin and McCain are close to meeting Reid’s demands that the defense bill be completed in a few days.
The chamber is slated to first take up legislation about equal rights for disabled individuals when it reconvenes Tuesday afternoon following the policy luncheons. It is unclear how long that might take.
The House already passed its version of the Pentagon policy legislation. A senior House Armed Services Committee aide told Defense News last week that members of that committee are prepared to quickly begin the House-Senate conference committee that would have to quickly hammer out differences in the two bills and send a final version to the president by the end of the month.
Both chambers of the current Congress are expected to adjourn around Dec. 24.
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