Schumer calls for delay on passage of defense bill amid Iran tensions

Schumer calls for delay on passage of defense bill amid Iran tensions
© Aaron Schwartz

Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (D-N.Y.) is doubling down on his call for a vote on an amendment restricting President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE’s ability to go to war with Iran and urging Republicans to delay passage of the defense bill the measure would be attached to until after the Democratic presidential debates. 

Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, argued the entire Senate should be present for a vote on the amendment from Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine2020 general election debates announced Senators call for Trump administration to testify on Syria Schumer: Transcript 'absolutely validates' Trump impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Va.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallGreen groups line up behind Markey ahead of looming Kennedy fight Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Overnight Energy: Top Interior lawyer accused of lying to Congress confirmed | Senate set to deny funding for BLM move | EPA threatens to cut California highway funds MORE (D-N.M.), but that several Democratic senators are expected to be absent because of the presidential debates. 

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The amendment would prevent funding from being used for military action against Iran without congressional approval. 

“Considering the gravity of the situation when Iran, Democrats believe the full Senate should be present to vote on the Udall amendment. Leader McConnell is no doubt aware that several members of this body will be absent this week for the democratic presidential debates,” Schumer said. 

He added that the Senate “should wait to have the vote until the full body is present. There’s no rush to complete” the National Defense Authorization Act. 

But the proposal is one of nearly 600 that has been filed to the bill. It’s unclear if any will be allowed to get a vote. Republicans want to wrap up the defense bill by the end of the week. 

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills During impeachment storm, senators cross aisle to lessen mass incarceration MORE (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, wouldn’t rule out that Democrats could try to block the bill unless they can get a vote on the Iran amendment.

“If McConnell decides to take a stand against any amendments then we’re going to have to take a whip count,” Durbin said. 

Asked if he thought enough Democrats would vote to block the NDAA if they can’t get a vote on the Iran amendment he added “let’s do the math. They have 53 votes they need seven. We have 47. So the question is can we hold 41 of the 47.”