The annual military funding bills are a time to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at assorted wars, but they’re also time for amendments, with Congressmen annually pushing controversial measures and efforts for reform into the bill.
Not this year. With Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D – MI) insisting that there’s simply no time to follow the regular order, and saying the committees have agreed to simply push it through without any chance for amendments or even much debate.
Though Senators could theoretically still try to filibuster the measure, officials don’t expect this and say they hope to get a unanimous vote in favor of the bill.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D – NY), who had been promised the chance to push an amendment dealing with the growing problem of military sexual assaults, expressed surprise that she’s not going to get to offer the amendment, but expressed hope that such a measure could eventually come to a vote at some point in the future.
Senate hawks who’d hoped to cram an Iran sanctions amendment into the bill to scare Obama away from a promised veto are also likely to be disappointed, as the sudden change of order means the sanctions likely won’t be considered until January at the soonest.