Senate to take up defense authorization on Thursday

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Wednesday that the Senate would set aside the pending energy and water appropriations bill in order to take up S. 1827, the defense authorization bill for 2012, on Thursday morning.

Reid dismissed the energy and water legislation, in part, because senators from both sides would not allow him to convert it into a "minibus" spending package. Reid, however, said he would not scuttle the legislation and that the Senate would attempt to pass it in the future.

"I was disappointed, it’s too bad," said Reid of the impasse that blocked the minibus, "but that’s the way it is, I accept that."

The move to the defense authorization measure could increase the likelihood that the Senate will adjourn in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Reid said several times this week he would not allow the Senate to adjourn for the break until that bill was passed.