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Senators still hope that the overall bill could be passed by the end of the week. But aides said passage is more likely to occur Monday barring further disagreement.
Reid attempted before the Thanksgiving recess to seek approval of a unanimous consent agreement that would have limited bill debate to only germane amendments. That agreement was blocked by the GOP.
At that point, it was left to Levin and McCain to manage the amendments, attempt to limit their number and pass a bill that has been enacted every year for the past half-century.
The House passed its version of the bill (HR 4310) in May. Lawmakers must complete the defense policy bill, then complete a House-Senate conference, adopt the conference report in both chambers and send it to the president before the beginning of the new session of Congress in early January.
Megan Scully contributed to this report.