Reid Pulls Defense Authorization Bill Off The Floor, Vows To Return To Iraq Redeployment Legislation

After forcing conservatives to stand all-night and filibuster the Levin-Reed Iraq redeployment bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pulled the entire Defense Authorization bill from consideration on the Senate floor.

Following this morning’s vote against ending debate, Reid argued that the Defense Authorization legislation should not be considered until the Senate is prepared to offer a future course for Iraq.

Reid explained:

“Because Republicans continue to block votes on important amendments to the Defense Authorization bill, we can make no further progress on Iraq and this bill at this time.

For these reasons, I have temporarily laid aside the Defense Authorization bill and have entered a motion to reconsider.

But let me be clear to my Republican colleagues — I emphasize the word “temporarily”. We will do everything in our power to change course in Iraq. We will do everything in our power to complete consideration of a Defense Authorization bill. We must do both.

And just to remind my Republican colleagues — even if this bill had passed yesterday, its provisions would not take effect until October.

So we will come back to this bill as soon as it is clear we can make real progress. To that end, I have asked the Democratic Whip and Democratic Manager of the bill to sit down with their counterparts to work on a process to address all outstanding issues related to this bill so the Senate can return to it as soon as possible.

In his Senate floor speech, Reid blasted “a handful of dedicated obstructionists.” Watch it:


Reid’s maneuver leaves opens the possibility that the Levin-Reed amendment will be re-introduced and voted on in the near future.