Reid accuses GOP of holding up defense authorization bill

Republicans have complained that Reid isn’t allowing an open amendment process, but Reid said he would allow open amendments to the defense authorization because Senate Armed Service Committee leaders, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed to wade through and table all the non-germane amendments offered.

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“If we’re going to move to these bills and have amendments offered, and that’s what they want, and that’s what we’ll do,” Reid said. “I don’t know what their problem is.”

At the beginning of the week, Reid said he wanted to hold votes on the Cybersecurity Act, Sportsmen’s Act and start consideration of the Defense Authorization Act of 2013 before leaving for Thanksgiving break. The Cybersecurity Act, S. 3414, which would have encouraged companies that operate critical infrastructure to boost the security of their computer systems, failed to get enough votes to invoke cloture Wednesday night. Today, Reid signaled that the Senate would complete work on the Sportsmen’s Act, S. 3525, which would increase access to federal land for hunters and fishermen while also supporting conservation, when it returns after Thanksgiving on Monday, Nov. 26.

Reid said he wanted to “set the record straight” that he’s not the reason the defense authorization, S. 3254, isn’t being taken up.

“We’re not the cause for why the defense authorization bill is not being brought to the floor,” Reid said.