Senate Moves up Debate over Defense Policy Bill

The Senate plans to take up the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill in two weeks, after the chamber finishes considering a second package of spending bills, reported CQ Today.

The Senate’s schedule is not set, however, with the next “minibus” appropriations measure expected to require lengthy debate as several controversial amendments are considered, the publication cautioned.

A dispute between the Armed Services Committee and the Obama administration over several terrorist detainee provisions in the committee-passed version of the authorization bill still has not been settled, and remains the primary hurdle to its passage.

The committee also may revisit the top line spending level authorized by the legislation. After deciding last week to trim that figure by $20 billion to $513 billion, members may try to adjust the spending level again to reflect a tentative agreement by House and Senate appropriators to increase the department’s top line to $518 billion.


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