Levin predicts defense vote Friday

Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinListen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race MORE (D-Mich.) expects the Senate to vote on a $585 billion Defense Department bill late Friday.

“I don’t see any alternative in sight,” Levin, the retiring chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Thursday afternoon.

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The Senate on Thursday morning voted 85-14 to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The procedural vote was necessary after some Republicans objected to a lands package tacked on to the Pentagon policy blueprint.

Provided the federal government is open Friday, the NDAA should be up for its final vote. An agreement could be reached to hold the Senate's passage vote sooner, but Levin’s comments suggest that won’t happen.

However, Levin said the Senate vote on government funding could come even later.

“I’m guessing it would be more likely now we finish the authorization bill, the defense bill, before the omnibus,” Levin said, “given the delay in the House.”

The House went into recess this afternoon following debate on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government open. The Senate is waiting for the House to take action on a funding measure before determining its own schedule.

“I still think we’re going to be in all weekend and the beginning of next week,” Levin said. “That’s what I’ve felt for some time.”