Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees are scheduled to meet this week to begin discussions on crafting a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move signaling that the Senate is unlikely to take up its version of the annual defense policy bill.
The discussions would replace a formal House-Senate conference, with the effort echoing the path the two committees went down last year after the FY 2014 authorization bill got hung up in the Senate in November. This time, though, members will have more time to work out differences since they’re starting earlier, reported CQ. Also rank-and-file members would have a much greater opportunity to shape the bill this time, Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), vice chairman of House Armed Services, told the publication.
Lawmakers would take up the final bill that comes out of the discussions during the lame-duck session.
One House Armed Services member, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), described the discussions as “an informal version of the informal version” of passing the legislation.