THE ANNUAL DEFENSE POLICY BILL PASSED THE HOUSE Thursday with veto bait intact. The vote was 322-96.

LAWMAKERS TURNED AWAY ATTEMPTS to strip a provision that would expand the government’s powers to go after Al Qaeda and associated groups – which opponents had said was too broad – and picked a new fight with the Obama administration by adopting an amendment to require all foreign terrorism suspects to be tried only in military tribunals and never in civilian courts. Our story is here:
THE WHITE HOUSE ALSO IS LIKELY TO OBJECT TO AN AMENDMENT to bar the administration from requiring contractors to submit information about their political contributions as a condition of doing business with the government. This is a direct shot across Obama’s bow, aimed at nullifying a draft executive order he has touted as his response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
THE HOUSE ALSO ADOPTED an amendment to eliminate the U.S. Institute of Peace, and another to protect military whistleblowers who report ideologically based threats. The latter is a response to reports that Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s colleagues had serious concerns about his extreme Islamist beliefs but were afraid to bring them up for fear of jeopardizing their careers.
REMEMBER, the Democratic-controlled Senate is working on its own version of the legislation, which is likely to have a very different take on some of these issues and avoid others completely. Nothing will go to Obama’s desk until both chambers agree on common language – a process which may stretch into September and beyond.

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