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U.S. Senators: ‘A Lot’ of Progress on Defense Authorization Bill

Dec. 11, 2012 - 02:48PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
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Lawmakers working on a final version of the 2013 Pentagon policy bill could finish the legislation as soon as Wednesday.

Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters Dec. 11 that House and Senate conferees are making “good progress” on ironing out differences in their two versions of the defense authorization bill.

McCain said the conferees could finish the compromise version of the legislation “today or tomorrow.”

But the committee’s top Republican also said lawmakers have not yet “gotten far enough to know” which differences could delay a final product, as typically happens when bicameral conference committees haggle over high-profile policy issues.

The Senate panel’s chairman, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, was asked moments later which of the major issues have been ironed out.

“Resolved? I would say we’ve made a lot of progress,” Levin told reporters. “Staffs made a lot of progress.”

Among the possibly contentious issues are provisions about terrorist detainees and a GOP-proposed East Coast missile defense shield.

On the latter, Levin only said that “It’s still under discussion.”

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