Senate Moves Forward on Vote to Approve Defense Spending Measure

Senate Moves Forward on Vote to Approve Defense Spending Measure

The Senate is preparing its first fiscal 2020 appropriations bills for floor consideration this week as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday filed to proceed with a vote on a House spending package that includes the FY 2020 Defense Appropriations bill, CQ reported.

However, the House package is expected to only serve as a legislative vehicle for the GOP-led Senate to replace with its own legislation, and it remains uncertain how expansive the Senate package will be and whether it will ultimately pass, according to the report.

The Senate Appropriation Committee’s $694.9 billion Defense bill, which usually receives broad bipartisan support, was nearly stalled in committee last week over the administration’s move to use $3.6 billion in the Pentagon’s military construction funds for southern border barrier construction.

McConnell said on Monday that he will start trying to move the funding bills on the Senate floor, forcing minority Democrats to decide whether to filibuster the legislation, The Hill reported.

The defense bill faces a challenge to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster after the Appropriations Committee Republicans rejected a provision last week that would require the administration to receive congressional approval before redirecting Pentagon money toward border construction, according to the report.

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