John McCain Anxious for NDAA Renewal for 2013

originally published at The New American Magazine

During the overnight Senate session that resulted in the passage of a “de facto declaration of war” on Iran and a stopgap bill that funded the federal government through March, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to push through a vote on next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as well.

An article published online by Government Executive magazine reports that at about 1:40 a.m. Saturday, September 22, Reid worked the floor trying to get support for the latest renewal of the controversial defense funding measure before his colleagues abandoned the Capitol for their home states.

“I’ve been asked on a number of occasions by Senator [Carl] Levin, Senator [John] McCain what we’re going to do on … the Defense Authorization bill. I ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by me, after consultation with the Republican leader, the Senate proceed to … the Defense authorization bill,” Reid said, according to the Government Executive story.

Foreign Policy blog The Cable reports that upon learning of Reid’s pre-dawn parliamentary plans, “Senate Minority Jon Kyl (R-AZ) objected … because Reid wanted unanimous consent to structure the debate with limited amendments and because Kyl couldn’t check with his caucus, as almost all senators had left the chamber.”

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), eager to get approval of the Fiscal Year 2013 NDAA on the books before heading back to the Grand Canyon State, accused Reid of purposely waiting until the chamber was nearly empty to start debate on the bill.