Levin ‘very optimistic’ defense bill passes Tuesday

The bill is widely expected to pass now that it has gotten through a multitude of obstacles to get the bill on the floor and to satisfy initial objections from Sens. Rand PaulRand PaulFour Senate conservatives say they oppose ObamaCare repeal bill Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time Senate bill contains B to stabilize ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom CoburnTom Coburn'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress Freedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC MORE (R-Okla.).

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Levin had hoped to finish it last week but could not get through the amendments, and it was slowed down by objections to unanimous consent votes. They were also delayed when Paul put a hold on the bill for several hours Monday.

Levin and McCain are still “clearing” amendments that both sides can agree to, and they still have a manager’s package of amendments to pass.

The defense authorization bill is a wide-ranging Pentagon policy bill that authorizes $631 billion in defense spending.

When the bill passes, it will head to a House-Senate conference committee to iron out the differences between the two chambers’ bills.

—Carlo Muñoz contributed.