Senators optimistic about a defense budget this week

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But he doubted another short-term CR would be needed.

"I don't think that'll be necessary because I think we'll get it all done," Levin said.

Later, Sessions said Senate Republican leaders "have been firm that we need to finish a defense bill this week."

A senior House aide said he "sees no way to split the two at this point," referring to the defense appropriations bill and yearlong CR.

Levin's comment echoed Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said earlier Wednesday he sees "a glimmer of hope" that lawmakers will reach an accord and pass a government funding measure.

The comments from Levin and Session came as House Republican leaders announced they will vote Thursday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running for one more week.

The move sets up a confrontation with Senate Democrats and the White House.

Democrats are opposed to the latest GOP measure, which includes a full 2011 defense appropriations bill.

The House defense bill would give the Pentagon $515 billion. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has repeatedly told lawmakers the military needs at least $540 billion.