“My goal is to get this legislation onto the president's desk as soon as we possibly can,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) said his colleagues in Congress are “too abrupt” in calling for a return of U.S. military action in Iraq.
Walsh is the Senate’s only Iraq War veteran.
The House will begin consideration of the $491 billion Defense appropriations bill. A multitude of amendments are expected, so a vote on final passage will not come until Thursday.
The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m. and will spend the day debating a "minibus" spending bill.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) blocked Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) from passing a resolution that would have required an investigation into a recent prisoner swap.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called for the federal government to use “incentive fee contracts” in military procurement programs rather than “award fee contracts,” after reports that Lockheed Martin was still receiving bonuses despite not meeting contract goals.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday that the White House shouldn’t rule out air strikes against a terrorist organization taking over parts of Iraq.
“The goal of these groups is to attack Americans here,” Rubio said on the Senate floor...
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that the ball is now in President Obama’s court to address failures within the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department.
The Senate passed a bill Wednesday night that would allow appropriators to begin work on the 2015 Intelligence Appropriations bill.
Lawmakers voted 93-3 for a bill that gives the VA secretary new firing powers.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that he hopes the Senate “quickly” votes on a bill that aims to fix dysfunctions within the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system by holding officials accountable and providing veterans with more choices.