Senate will likely pass new Military Sexual Assault Laws
December 17, 2013
By Jeremy Herb
The Senate is poised to pass the Defense authorization bill despite Republican anger toward Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over blocking amendment votes.
At least six Republicans say they will vote to end debate on the measure, clearing the way for the Defense bill to reach 60 votes and be sent to President Obama’s desk this week.
Republican Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.), John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) all say they will vote for cloture when the bill comes up on the floor Wednesday.
No Democrats have indicated they won’t support the cloture vote.
It’s not surprising that the Defense bill would attract enough support; it’s been passed for 51 straight years, usually by overwhelming margins.
The bill’s fate was in some doubt in the post-nuclear-option Senate, however. Republicans have slammed Reid for jamming the Defense bill through without amendments this week, after a dispute over amendment votes stalled the measure before the Thanksgiving recess. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Reid of trying to help the Obama administration duck an Iran sanctions vote.
But Senate Republican leaders don’t expect their members to ultimately block the Pentagon policy bill.