Senate looking to fast-track defense spending bill

"We're not going have more than this week for this bill," Levin said to a nearly empty Senate floor. "We've been informed by the majority leader that he wants to finish this bill by Thursday.

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"We are urging that our colleagues who have amendments pending come and debate those amendments," he added. "This opportunity is not going last for very long because we've got to get this bill passed."

Levin was joined on the floor Monday afternoon by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said that despite the fact the Senate started work on this bill the week before Thanksgiving, few members have spoken on their amendments.

"It does ring a bit hollow if some of our colleagues may say that they didn't have time to debate amendments that are pending," McCain said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans a cloture vote on the bill, S. 1867, on Wedneday. By 3:30 p.m., only Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) had spoken on the floor in favor of three of her amendments, and the Senate at 5 p.m. was expected to end debate on the bill and take up a judicial nominee.

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