Levin: Defense bill headed toward end-of-year ‘cliffhanger’

The Pentagon policy bill is one of the few remaining “must-pass” pieces of legislation. Congress has passed the Defense bill for 51 straight years.

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The bill always tackles a number of contentious issues. This year, there are major disagreements over sequestration, Guantanamo and military sexual assault.

The full House and Levin’s Armed Services panel both passed the authorization measure in June, but it has stalled before heading to the Senate floor, a frequent roadblock for the bill.

Levin told reporters Tuesday he was confident it would come to the floor before the end of the year.

Levin said he had spoken to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this week, who told him it would be “as soon as possible.”

Asked if he knew what that meant, Levin responded, “No.”

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world,” he said.