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Defense Bill Stalls

The Defense authorization bill is being held up in the Senate by two GOP amendments.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had hoped to get through the Defense bill this week, which normally takes several weeks to complete, but Democrats are holding up two GOP amendments that might have political implications for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

Republicans are seeking to offer an amendment that acknowledges the success of the troop surge in Iraq. The GOP contends that Reid has has been unwilling to allow a vote on the amendment.

A top Democratic aide disagreed with the notion that Reid had any problem with the surge amendment. In fact, the aide said, Democrats could offer their own amendment that would recognize the achievements of the troop increase, but the aide would not give any details on what the language would look like.

The other amendment the GOP is seeking is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) and would monitor military voting overseas.