Defense bill conference delayed by revenue measure

The delay of the House moving to conference could push back the conclusion of the conference committee report on the defense bill, which committee leaders hope to finish late this week or early next week.

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Both chambers want to finish the bill as quickly as possible amid the fiscal-cliff deliberations, and Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said last week their greatest enemy was “time.”

Aides said that the issue with the Senate bill was being worked on to get resolved. One aide said that the issue could not be fixed in the conference committee itself due to House parliamentary rules.

The aides did not say what the provisions were in the Senate bill causing the delay.

The Senate approved its $631 billion defense authorization bill — which has passed for 51 straight years — last week, while the House passed its version in May.