McConnell moves to end debate on defense bill
© Greg Nash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report MORE (R-Ky.) moved to end debate Thursday on an annual defense bill after Democrats blocked a deal on additional changes to the bill. 
 
McConnell's move came after he and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) engaged in a back-and-forth on trying to get a deal to separate an amendment from Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
 
Burr's provision includes the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA.
 
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The Kentucky Republican offered to remove the cyber bill and have the Senate take it up after finishing work on a defense spending bill. 
 
Reid quickly shot down that offer, calling it a "facade." 
 
"Putting it after the defense appropriations bill is a false promise," he said. "I think it's clear, I heard the Republican leader give a speech down here today, and he knows, unless there's some changes made, we're not going to get on the defense appropriations bill." 
 
Unless lawmakers can reach a deal, McConnell's maneuver means the defense policy bill will face its first procedural hurdle next week. 
 
The bill has garnered a veto threat from the White House because of an extra $38 billion in war funding that would help the Defense Department avoid the budget caps under the sequester. 
 
McConnell's move came after days of legislative stalemate over amendments to the bill, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) accusing Democrats of blocking any agreement on amendments. 
 
McCain tried to offer a handful of amendments to the NDAA earlier Thursday, but he was blocked by Reid. 
 
Democrats have remained tightlipped over whether they'll block the defense bill from being passed. 

"I don't know what will happen," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters Tuesday. "I think I know what our plan is on appropriations; it's not as clear on defense authorization."