It could be a chippy day on the floor of the U.S. Senate, as Democrats try to move ahead on a defense policy bill which could feature election year debates on immigration reform and gays in the military.
But with Democrats making it clear that Republicans won't be able to offer any amendments right now - maybe not until after the elections - GOP Senators aren't exactly pleased with the plan.
"Sheer politics," is how Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described the parliamentary cram down from Democrats, which also had Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) snorting his displeasure on the Senate floor.
"This kind of transparent politicization of our national defense should anger every member of this body, Democrats and Republicans," McCain said.
Democrats will first need 60 votes just to force a vote on a procedural motion to start debate on the bill, and there was no guarantee they would be able to do that.
The duel on the defense bill comes amid rumblings that Democratic leaders may pull the plug on this pre-election session of Congress as early as the end of this week, which would give lawmakers even more time to campaign for re-election.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will meet today to discuss what, if anything, can be finished before the elections.
The bare minimum would be final House approval of a small business bill that made it through the Senate last week, along with what's known as the "Continuing Resolution" or "CR" - the temporary budget bill that's needed to keep the government from shutting down when the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
Last week, it was reported that the White House wanted to add $25 billion in various spending items to the CR, but that has absolutely no chance of making it through the Congress any time soon.
As for the budget, very little has been done this year. The House has only approved two of the twelve budget bills for the new fiscal year; none of them have been considered in the Senate.
For comparison, only one bill was approved by the Democratic House before the 2008 elections, with none in the Senate.
In 2006, Republicans passed two bills before their election losses. The rest were booted into the next year for Democrats to deal with.
In 2004, the GOP Congress sent four bills to the President for his signature before the elections.
In 2002, two bills made it into law before November.
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