Senate GOP leader assails Dems on defense bill

By By DONNA CASSATA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican says his Democratic counterpart is barring any GOP changes to pending defense legislation because he "can't stomach" a vote on Iran sanctions.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that Majority Leader Harry Reid is jamming a comprehensive, $632.8 billion bill through the Senate in the closing days of the session without allowing any amendments. The Kentucky Republican called it a short-term power grab that could come back to haunt the Democrats if they find themselves in the minority.

The Kentucky Republican said Reid is acting at the behest of the Obama administration, which fears a new round of sanctions will scuttle the recent nuclear deal with Tehran.

Republicans and Democrats on Congress' military panels finalized the policy bill to ensure its passage this year.

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