Sen. Sherrod Brown is increasingly confident the final version of the $716 billion defense bill will not lead to the loss of any of the 8,000 civilian defense jobs in Columbus and Cleveland.

The bill, which could win Senate passage as early as Thursday, does not include a House provision calling on the Pentagon to slash civilian defense jobs at facilities such as the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and the Defense Logistics Agency in Whitehall and a similar agency in Cleveland.

In a conference call with reporters, Brown, D-Ohio, said the “showdown comes” later this year when a conference committee of the House and Senate meet to reconcile differences in their defense bills, adding “we’re confident we can keep it out.”

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