Senate names defense bill negotiators
© Greg Nash

The Senate on Thursday announced the lawmakers who will go to a conference committee with House members to iron out differences on an annual defense policy bill.

Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' MORE (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedLawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Pavlich: The Senate defends its integrity Five Senate Democrats make impeachment case in Spanish MORE (D-R.I.), the ranking member, James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report MORE (R-Okla.), Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Trump tweets test Attorney General Barr MORE (R-Ala.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders repeats with NH primary win, but with narrower victory Senators press NCAA on compensation for college athletes Overnight Defense: Inside Trump's 4B Pentagon budget | Highlights include .4B for Space Force, preview of Air Force One paint job | Senate eyes Wednesday debate on Iran war powers | 109 US troops diagnosed with brain injuries from attack MORE (R-Miss.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire MORE (R-N.H.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerLoeffler works to gain traction with conservatives amid Collins primary bid Bolton upends Trump impeachment trial  The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment unknowns await returning lawmakers MORE (R-Neb.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Barr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (R-S.C.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world Bottom Line MORE (D-Fla.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (D-W.Va.) Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world MORE (D-Ind.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign What the impeachment vote looked like from inside the chamber MORE (D-Hawaii), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' Democratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students MORE (D-Va.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives MORE (D-N.Y.) were named as the Senate's negotiators.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPompeo to speak to influential conservative group in Iowa Top National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Ted Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' MORE was one of 10 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee not included as part of the conference committee. The Texas Republican, and 2016 presidential candidate, has come under fire for his sparse attendance of committee meetings, as well as missing Senate roll call votes.

ADVERTISEMENT

The naming of conferees comes after the Senate voted to go to conference with House lawmakers on the National Defense Authorization Act, where they'll be responsible for working out key differences between the two versions of the bill. 

McCain has previously said that the conference would be able to wrap up its work this month.

Democrats tried to pass a motion that would have instructed conferees to strip out an extra $38 billion tucked into the Pentagon's war fund. 

The push is the latest attempt by Senate Democrats to try to remove the additional Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) money and force Republicans into talks on rolling back congressionally mandated budget caps. 

Reed said ahead of the vote that the push to include the instructions on the war fund "effectively represents what we've heard from the secretary of Defense. ... We are using OCO as a device to avoid real budgeting." 

But Republicans rejected Reed's logic, with Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziLawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Republicans scramble to avoid Medicare land mine McConnell will not bring budget resolution to the floor MORE (R-Wyo.) saying, "we've had this discussion a number of times. This defeats the budget." 

Senators defeated the motion by a 44-52 vote, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill The Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' MORE (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, breaking from Democrats and voting with Republicans against the motion. 

His office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the vote.