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 McCainTrump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump MORE (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis Reed Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal Barr says 'spying' took place on Trump campaign MORE (D-R.I.), the ranking member, James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain Inhofe Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Overnight Defense: Senators show skepticism over Space Force | Navy drops charges against officers in deadly collision | Trump taps next Navy chief Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal MORE (R-Okla.), Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Some statements about him in Mueller report are 'total bulls---' Colbert hits Trump after Mueller report: Innocent people don't say 'I'm f---ed' The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? MORE (R-Ala.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Senate panel opens investigation of FAA safety inspectors FAA faces questions about Boeing at two hearings MORE (R-Miss.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSchultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Bottom Line US, allies must stand in united opposition to Iran’s bad behavior MORE (R-N.H.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerWhy America needs the ability to track enemy missiles from space GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback Dems accused of seeking revenge for 2013 vote on hurricane relief MORE (R-Neb.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Senators show skepticism over Space Force | Navy drops charges against officers in deadly collision | Trump taps next Navy chief Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal GOP senators introduce bill to reduce legal immigration  MORE (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamJudiciary chairman issues subpoena for full Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week MORE (R-S.C.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump administration renews interest in Florida offshore drilling: report Dem reps say they were denied access to immigrant detention center Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE (D-Fla.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Pro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections MORE (D-W.Va.) Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySome in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care MORE (D-Ind.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Overnight Energy: Collins receives more donations from Texas oil, gas industry than from Maine residents | Interior chief left meetings off schedule | Omar controversy jeopardizes Ocasio-Cortez trip to coal mine MORE (D-Hawaii), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Democratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Dems ask Justice Dept to release findings of Acosta-Epstein investigation MORE (D-Va.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandButtigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration 2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report 2020 Dems blast Barr's defense of Trump before Mueller report's release MORE (D-N.Y.) were named as the Senate's negotiators.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes O'Rourke sweeps through Virginia looking to energize campaign Disney to donate million to rebuild Notre Dame 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.

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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 Enzi Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump cleaning house on border security Judd Gregg: In praise of Mike Enzi 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Five former Obama ambassadors back Buttigieg Both sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 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.