- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
House passes $638B defense spending bill
The House on Friday authorized $638 billion in military spending for the coming fiscal year, including $86 billion for the war in Afghanistan, while attempting to address reports of the rising number of sexual assaults in the military.
Members voted 315 to 108 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014, which reforms how the armed services handle sex-related crimes and bolsters protections for victims.
The bill eliminates military commanders' ability to dismiss findings of a court martial in certain sexual assault cases and it mandates the dismissal or dishonorable discharge for any member of the armed services convicted of a sex crime.
It also allows victims of such crimes to apply for a permanent transfer from their station or unit.
The bill must be reconciled with the Senate's version, which is still be developed. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted late Thursday, on a 23-3 vote, to forward its bill to the full chamber.
House members on Friday voted down an amendment, 249-147, from Rep. Adam Smith, Washington Democrat, that would have directed President Obama to devise a plan to close the terrorist detainee prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The bottom line is we do not need Guantanamo," said Mr. Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.
House GOP Speaker John A. Boehner praised the bill after the final vote, in particular the provision on Guantanamo.
"I am pleased the bill maintains the bipartisan prohibition against transferring terrorist detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to the United States," the Ohio Republican said. "I am also pleased that the bill takes significant steps to address the rampant number of sexual assault cases in the military.
The president has threatened to veto the bill because it prevent him from closing the detention facility in Cuba and limits his ability to reduce nuclear weapons, the Associated Press reported.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat, shepherded through an amendment that calls on the Pentagon to stop purchasing weapons from Rosoboronexport, a Russian arms dealer, citing Moscow's support for the Assad regime that is waging war with rebels in Syria.
Rep. James Moran, Virginia Democrat, said there's been bipartisan support for the prohibition in the past, only to see the Department of Defense ignore it.
"This has to be fixed," he said. "This is not a sustainable situation."
The amendment passed, 423 to 0.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sebelius not running for Senate, HHS confirms: Report
- Red fox makes a home for himself at the White House: Report
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
- Sen. Joe Manchin keeps his options open for 2016
- Many Americans would quickly face financial hardship after losing job, poll shows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- NYT's David Brooks: Obama has 'manhood problem' in Middle East
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Vulnerable Democrats must 'run their own race'
- WILLIAMS: Bill Maher, comedian or bigot?
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.