Senate moves closer to finalizing defense policy bill: The Senate on Wednesday voted to end debate on a House-passed shell bill being used as the Senate’s version of the defense policy bill, the Hill reports. The vote brings the chamber closer to final passage of the bill, with Republicans predicting that a final vote on the bill would take place Thursday. From the story: “Senate Democratic leadership has criticized the defense policy bill because it includes an extra $38 billion in the Pentagon’s war fund. But a majority of Democrats have backed the legislation on the procedural votes so far.”

Ash Carter reiterates support for vetoing defense bill: Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday said he supports the idea of vetoing the defense policy bill, Military Times reports. The House last month passed its version of the $612 billion defense policy bill — which stays within spending caps but includes additional billions in the war fund — and the White House has said it will veto any bill that does not include a boost in domestic spending as well. From the story: “Carter earlier this year drew the ire of the committee’s conservatives for supporting that veto threat, even if the Defense Department gets its full funding. He argued that cuts to the State Department and Homeland Security would have secondary effects on military operations, and that fixing one budget problem was not enough.”