Senate could take up $612 billion defense policy bill in June

Senate could take up $612 billion defense policy bill in June
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The Senate could take up its version of the fiscal defense policy bill as soon as next month.

“Schedule permitting, the committee is ready to go to the floor in June,” a Senate Armed Services Committee aide told The Hill on Monday.

The panel unveiled its draft of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last week. The $612 billion policy blueprint sets spending limits for all Defense Department programs and initiatives.

The House passed its version of the bill on Friday, despite a veto threat from President Obama and opposition from top Democrats based on what they call budgetary gimmicks to circumvent spending caps put in place by the 2011 budget deal.

Bringing the NDAA to the Senate floor in June would put the bill on pace to pass earlier than in previous years.

Congress has passed an NDAA before the Dec. 31 deadline for 53 consecutive years.

Last year the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees had to cobble together a joint policy road map after it became clear Senate leaders wouldn’t bring the upper chamber’s version to the floor for a vote before the midterm elections. It was passed during the lame-duck Congress.

The year before that, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) waited until days before the Christmas break to bring the bill to the floor. The maneuver prompted Republicans to complain that there wasn’t enough time to consider their amendments.

Senate Armed Services members are apparently already prepping for when the massive policy bill comes to the floor.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) announced she plans to propose adding her proposal to move military sexual assault cases outside the chain of command when the NDAA is taken up.