The Senate is expected to vote on its annual defense policy bill on Monday after more than a day of negotiations failed to yield an agreement on several remaining amendments.
Senators voted 84-9 to cut off debate on the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act and ditch efforts to bring a measure ending sequestration and several other amendments up on the floor. The move could, however, allow some other amendments to be added to the NDAA before passage.
The annual defense policy bill authorizes a major hike over current military spending and over the $639 billion defense budget requested by President Trump for 2018, aiming for more troops, aircraft and ships.
"While I had hoped to debate and vote on a number of other amendments from senators of both parties, especially the proposal to end sequestration, I am proud that we continued the strong tradition of moving the NDAA through the Senate in a bipartisan fashion and look forward to its final passage on Monday," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Armed Services chairman who is shepherding the bill.
The sequestration amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would have eliminated the legal mechanism that has enforced federal budget spending caps since 2013.
McCain has been a top advocate for a hike in defense spending, but spending caps for 2018 stand in the way. Cotton's amendment would have potentially allowed the Congress to move ahead of the NDAA without striking a larger deal to lift the caps.
Other controversial amendments were filed by Sen. Mike Lee to prohibit indefinite detention of terrorist suspects; Sen. Tammy Baldwin to protect the defense supply chain from foreign goods, and Sen. Dick Durbin to preserve defense medical research programs.