FY 2014 Defense Authorization Bill, S. 1197 in the Senate
While the nuclear option was on the Senate floor yesterday, the term did not refer to nuclear weapons amendments to the defense bill. Instead, there was a controversial decision by Democrats to change the rules to require 51 votes to overcome a filibuster on nominations (but not legislation) rather than 60 votes.
The resulting ill-feelings, and the reluctance of Democrats to agree to the Republican demand for bringing up 25 GOP and 25 Democratic amendments, led to a failure to invoke cloture to end the debate on the defense bill, 51 to 44, with 60 votes needed.
The two parties also failed to agree to approve a managers’ package of amendments cleared by both sides.
A motion to recess for Thanksgiving barely passed 51-42.
The Senate is now out of session until December 9, when the defense bill will again be on the Senate floor. But the way ahead is as unpredictable as ever. Even so, many more amendments were submitted yesterday.
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah – although a Senate motion to endorse this sentiment would have been objected to.