Senate

McConnell tees up defense spending bill

Francis Rivera

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday paved the way for the Senate to take up a defense spending bill, setting up the first test for Democrats who have pledged to block the measure.

The Republican leader filed cloture on the motion proceed to the defense spending bill, creating a procedural vote for Thursday. 

{mosads}Senate Democrats are saying they’ll block the bill, and every other spending bill, in an effort to force Republicans to make a deal to roll back budget caps for both defense and nondefense spending. 

Democrats have taken aim at an extra $38 billion tucked into a war fund meant to avoid the sequester spending caps for the Defense Department. 

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday criticized McConnell for moving ahead with the defense bill, saying that Republicans are trying to pull off a budgetary “magic trick.” 

“What I have heard my friend, the Republican leader talk about today, is trying to do some magic tricks, not only on the Senate but the country,” he said.

Tags Harry Reid Mitch McConnell

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