Defense mega bill hits House floor

By my reckoning (the FY07 continuing res H J Res 20 aside), the first really big bill to come to the House floor arrives today: HR 1585, the defense authorization bill.

Right now, according to the floor summary, they're adjourning after dealing with (but not voting on) the rule (H Res 403) on HR 1585.

The text of the rule is here.

It's a structured rule (or modified closed rule, if you prefer) which limits the floor amendments which may offered to those printed in the Rules report.

The 'good news' is that there are fifty such amendments, almost all of which are allowed ten minutes' debate. (Though there is power granted to the HASC chairman (Skelton) to take any printed amendments en bloc, which would obviously save time, if time needed to be saved.)

CQpicks out the plums so you (and, more importantly, I) don't have to:

Among them is one by Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., that would require any interrogation of a detainee by military personnel or contractors to be videotaped. It would require the Judge Advocates General of the respective military services to develop uniform guidelines for such videotaping.

Detainees also would be given access to outside representatives, including the International Red Cross and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Rep. Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine, is expected to press an amendment that would make contraception available at all military health care facilities.

Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., is to offer an amendment that would require the Defense Department to report on their plans to try Guantánamo Bay detainees and require the Defense Department to complete the planned release of some detainees by the end of this year.


Mostly, Pelosi (as any good Speaker should) has sought to close down floor debate to the degree possible; interesting to see how her kennel behave when let off the leash.

Tags: Defense Authorization Bill, H Res 403, HR 1585, Modified Closed Rule (all tags)

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