Top members on the House and Senate Armed Services committees are working on a Plan B for the annual defense legislation to ensure a bill can get passed this month, the Associated Press reports.
Members face a tight schedule, with the Senate returning next week and the House scheduled to adjourn for the year on Dec. 13. The Senate's version of the National Defense Authorization Act stalled last month after Republicans and Democrats couldn't reach an agreement on the number of amendments to be debated.
But House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., seemed hopeful that a scaled-back version of the NDAA could pass.
"We have to have this done," Smith said. "A whole lot of bad stuff happens if we don't pass this by the end of the year, in terms of military pay, in terms of death-benefit compensation, in terms of military-construction projects, and on and on and on."
Under that plan, the House would pass the new bill. The Senate would then have to pass it without amendments. But Smith suggested that some of the controversial provisions in the House bill could make it into the smaller legislation.