The American legislative chambers cannot handle too much at a time….
The Biden ‘Build Back Better’ is now on the Senate’s plate….
It’s actually more than twice the size of the National Defense Authorization Act’s $768 price tag….
The delay and a subsequent rush to come in before the end of the year is earning Democratic Senate Majority leader Schumer complaints …
Because Senator’s have less time to drop their own amendments into the massive bill which buys their vote….
Pushing back votes on the defense bill further narrows the window for leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees to iron out a compromise and send it to President Joe Biden’s desk before the end of the year.
“Democrats have been working in good faith for several days, actually for several months really, to pass this defense legislation,” Schumer lamented on the floor late Thursday. “Members on both sides want to get this done, so these delays are unfortunate. There is no good reason to keep delaying. We should move the process forward.”
After days of wrangling over what amendments would receive votes or be included in a bipartisan manager’s package, Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.) sought to secure votes Thursday evening on 19 amendments from Democrats and Republicans.
But seven Republicans took turns blocking votes because their amendments weren’t included — some with little connection to defense policy….
Democratic and Republican leaders will need to work out the dispute after the Thanksgiving recess. Any one senator can object to votes or speeding up the process on the floor, so it’s possible no senators may get votes on their amendments if the impasse isn’t resolved….
…a wide array of policy proposals were scuttled by the dust-up, including amendments to slash the defense budget, rein in presidential war powers and defang parts of the coronavirus vaccine mandate….
Senate leaders were also primed to grant Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) a vote on his amendment to remove a provision in the defense bill that would require women to register for a military draft. The expansion was included in the House-passed defense bill and would almost certainly become law if it survives the Senate….
Now time is running short for the House and Senate to hammer out a compromise version of the defense bill, which has become law every year for six decades.
For members of both parties, it’s proof positive that Schumer — who has largely avoided putting large bills on the floor while the Senate waited on the House to pass Biden’s and Democrats’ marquee $1.75 trillion social spending package — should have allowed the defense debate far earlier…