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Reid Blocks GOP Defense Amendments

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday took steps to prevent amendments from being offered to the Defense authorization bill now pending on the floor.

Reid earlier had offered Republicans a deal that would have allowed both sides five non-germane amendments on the Defense bill, but Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) declined the offer, calling for regular order and noting that non-germane amendments would only be allowed if there was bipartisan agreement.

According to one GOP aide, Republicans were pressing for a vote on an amendment by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) stating that the troop surge in Iraq has been a success.

The amendment was designed in part to force Democrats, including presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), to go on the record regarding whether the surge was the proper strategy in Iraq.

Both Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had appeared hopeful Monday that they would be able to find common ground on amendments to the Defense authorization.

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