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Republicans to Allow Debate on Defense Bill

Senate Republicans are likely to end their summer filibuster of unrelated energy legislation when the chamber votes on the defense authorization bill this evening.

According to a GOP aide, Republicans are expected to vote for a procedural motion that allows the chamber to proceed to the authorization bill.

On the first day back from the August recess, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there are several things the Senate must get done during the three-week work period, including the defense bill, legislation tackling high gas prices and tax-extenders legislation.

“The election is not an excuse for us to delay any action another day,” he said.

The way forward on the defense bill is unclear, as the bill itself is a target of unrelated measures. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped that only amendments dealing with military issues will be offered.

McConnell said he plans to meet with other members of the GOP leadership to discuss the bill and any amendments that Republicans plan to offer.