WASHINGTON, December 5 (Sputnik) — The vote in the US Senate on the defense budget, including the amendment to ban the purchase of Russian RD-180 rocket engines, will be held not earlier than next Tuesday, Senator John McCain told RIA Novosti Friday.
"We will pass it [the amendment]… Tuesday or Wednesday. I would imagine Tuesday probably. I'd love to see it tomorrow," the author of the amendment John McCain said.
McCain's amendment prohibits the purchase of RD-180 rocket engines manufactured by Russia's Energomash company with an exception for the existing contract for Russian engines until 2019 by a consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
This amendment reflects the desire of the US Congress to eliminate the dependence on Russian space technologies in the context of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2015 fiscal year, authorizing $577.1 billion in funding for national defense programs.
The House passed the bill without amendments, voting 300 to 119. Before the defense budget becomes law, it must be approved by the Senate.