October 6, 2015
No big surprise- but both Washington senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted to allow more war spending even if there is a budget cap on federal spending.
From The Hill:
THE TOPLINE: Democrats did not filibuster a vote to move forward on a defense policy bill on Tuesday, despite a veto threat from the White House.
Senators voted 73-26 to end debate on the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with 60 votes needed to move forward.
Twenty-one Democrats broke ranks and voted to let the bill advance for a vote later this week. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who is running for president, was the only Republican to vote no. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a 2016 presidential contender, missed the vote due to campaigning.
The legislation is expected to pass by Thursday, which would send it to President Obama’s desk.
The Obama administration opposes the bill primarily because it keeps budget caps on federal spending, but allows for a boost in defense spending through the use of a war fund not subject to the limits.
The amount requested for the Pentagon in 2016 by the White House and Republicans is the same, at $612 billion, but the White House wanted to pressure Republicans to lift the caps on both defense and non-defense spending.
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned that Democrats would, however, sustain the president’s veto of the bill if Republicans tried to override it.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Democrats against blocking the NDAA.
“If they want to sustain the veto they’re responsible for the events that take place in the world, including [putting] the lives of the men and women serving in the military in much greater danger,” he said. “That will be their responsibility.”
Obama has threatened to veto every NDAA since he took office but has never actually done so.
The Democrats who voted Tuesday to advance the defense bill were Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Mark Warner (Va.). Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also voted to proceed.