Senate Poised to Clear Defense Bill Thursday

November 30, 2011

Senate leaders plan to finish work on the Department of Defense authorization bill for 2012 on Thursday despite several controversial amendments that still have not been resolved, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) signaled Wednesday evening.

Democratic leaders want to move past the bill, which has consumed the Senate's attention for nearly two legislative weeks, and take up the next fragment of President Obama's jobs bill, a payroll tax cut extension.

The pending defense authorization bill has inflamed passions on both sides of the aisle causing the Senate to take on an intensity and rhythm rarely seen in the legislative process so far this year.

Much of the tension has swirled around a terrorist detainee provision tucked into the legislation's text which both progressives and conservatives argue would allow for the unconstitutional detention of American citizens suspected of terrorism. 

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