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Budgets | Force Structure | Issues - Political | Transformation

Defense Authorization Bill Pressed on Appropriations

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Yes Mr. Stevens, er, Santa,I’d like a BRAC exemption A tiff arising over where to place a slew of relatively non-controversial amendments and a stalled defense authorization bill has Senate majority committee chairs at loggerheads, stymieing both the authorization bill as well as a major defense appropriations amendment. Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ted Stevens balked at Armed Services Committee Chair John Warner’s attempt to slip his defense authorization bill onto Stevens’ appropriations amendment. Stevens may object because his amendment would be laden with a bill that the senate leadership hasn’t agreed to allow onto the floor on its own. The bill has proven extra touchy in a time of BRAC base closures and a pelting of amendments from some senators for controversial additions, such as specifying how the Administration must treat its detainees. Stevens last week had expressed some openness to allowing an authorization element into the amendment, but appears to have been surprised this week by the quantity of amendments, their nature and lack of a limited timetable for debate. The Senate is scheduled to vote tonight on whether or not Warner’s bill is “germane” to the amendments, which will determine if it is allowed to slip in.

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