Democrats warn they could disrupt the Thanksgiving recess as they try to advance a broad defense policy bill.
The Senate generally leaves town on Thursday afternoon the week before Thanksgiving and is scheduled to return to Washington on November 29.
But Senate Democrats say they could stay in Washington, DC, until the weekend to try to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The defense bill is generally passed by a wide bipartisan margin, but because it attracts hundreds of amendments, it can consume about two weeks of floor time.
“I think what we would like to do would be to finish the NDAA before Thanksgiving, so it could be later this week, it could be Friday or Saturday, it could be early next week,” said the Senator. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine Congress moves toward year-end crash Senators urge federal investigation into handling of sexual assault allegations by Liberty University. (D-Va.). “The leader said that he would really like to finish the NDAA before Thanksgiving or have everything ready before a final approval vote.”
Its. Ben cardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis Cardin Democrats step up filibuster talks after voting rights setback Magnitsky renewal: best weapon against emerging security threat Democrats face monster collision in December MORE (D-Md.) He added that they could stay to try to boost cooperation to allow votes on amendments to the defense bill.
“If there is no cooperation by Thursday or Friday, maybe Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday,” Cardin said, adding that Democrats want a “way forward” before leaving.
Its. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van Hollen Hillicon Valley – Immigrants are being put into surveillance programs Senate Democrats urge government to do more to protect K-12 schools from hackers Democrats seek to establish a green bank for clean energy projects PLUS (D-Md.) He added that Democrats are “prepared to be here this weekend if necessary” to work on the defense bill.
“It all depends. We want to try and finish it before Thanksgiving,” he said, but added that it was “possible” that the completion of the bill would be delayed until after the recess.
The Senate is scheduled to hold an initial vote on Wednesday. They will need 60 votes to move the bill through the Senate, a hurdle he is expected to easily overcome. That prepares the Senate to begin debate on the defense bill on Thursday, without a deal to speed things up.
Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck Schumer Christie: Trump’s rhetoric on stolen elections led to January 6 attack Senate Republicans call on colleagues to reject public spending bills without border wall funding Schumer pressures Biden to take advantage of the oil reserves to reduce gas prices MORE (DN.Y.) reiterated Tuesday that it wants a vote on a Chinese competitiveness bill and a repeal of the 2002 Iraq war authorization as amendments to the defense bill.
Those are two of hundreds of amendments likely to be tabled, and Republicans are pushing for votes on a handful of policies, including an effort by conservatives to oppose a provision in the bill that would require women to stand. register for a selective service.
Despite the mountain of potential amendments, only a few typically get a vote as part of the Senate’s consideration of the defense bill. Any senator can prevent any other senator from getting a vote, unless Schumer is willing to spend days on the floor and force a vote.
Schumer urged Republicans to agree to speed up the defense bill, saying he wants to “get as many votes as possible this week” and “either complete the bill or go down a path that does.”
“We Democrats are ready to do that and I hope our Republicans can join us … We can start voting on the amendments as soon as tomorrow,” he said.
The NDAA is one of several items on the Democrats’ to-do list. Congress faces a December 3 deadline to fund the government, Democrats are working to pass President BidenJoe Biden Biden Reaffirms His Commitment To Taiwan’s ‘One China’ Policy In Call With Xi Biden Raises Human Rights With China’s Xi During Four-Hour Biden Meeting, Xi Holds ‘Candid’ Discussion Amid Highs tensions MOREsocial and climate spending bill and it is expected that they will soon need to increase the debt ceiling.