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2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments

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Friday, June 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Over the last 24 hours, the House debated and voted on nearly 200 amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 1960). Many of these amendments were approved via “voice vote” (there was no formal recording of how members voted); quite a few others were approved en bloc (grouped together and voted on as a package) on the floor.

Unsurprisingly, many of the amendments fall squarely within the Lawfare wheelhouse. They are summarized below.

  • Goodlatte amendment #150: to require the government, in habeas proceedings for United States citizens apprehended in the United States pursuant to the AUMF, to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the citizen is an unprivileged enemy combatant and there is not presumption that the government’s evidence is accurate and authentic. 214-211 (211 Republicans in favor, 190 Democrats against).
  • Walorski Amendment #19: to prohibit the Secretary of Defense from using any funds authorized to the department for the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. 236-188 (225 Republicans in favor, 183 Democrats against).
  • Radel Amendment #151: to require the Department of Defense to submit to the Congress a report every year containing: (1) the names of any U.S. citizens subject to military detention, (2) the legal justification for their continued detention, and (3) the steps the Executive Branch is taking to either provide them some judicial process, or release them. Requires that an unclassified version of the report be made available, and in addition, that the report must be made available to all members of Congress. Agreed to by voice vote.
  • Ross Amendment #105: None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise available to the Department of Defense may be used to provide additional or upgraded recreational facilities for individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • Broun Amendment #136: Prohibits the Department of Defense from using a drone to kill a citizen of the United States unless they are actively engaged in combat against the United States. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • Conyers Amendment #104: Clarifies that the assessment mandated in Section 1036(3) includes associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners for purposes of interpreting the scope of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • Turner Amendment #21:  Requires the President of the United States to convey to Congress the details of any proposed deals with the Russian Federation concerning the missile defense or nuclear arms of the United States.
  • Cardenas Amendment #98: Ensures that an assessment of the retention, recruitment, and management of the cyber operation forces is included in a comprehensive mission analysis of cyber operations by the Department of Defense. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • Cardenas Amendment #99: Ensures that the investigations launched by the Department of Defense related to the compromise of critical program information include an estimate of economic losses resulting from the intrusion and any actions needed to protect intellectual property. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • DeSantis Amendment #102: Prohibits funds from being authorized for collaborative cyber-security activities with the People’s Republic of China. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.
  • Kelly Amendment #133: Prohibits funds from being used to implement the UN Arms Trade Treaty unless the treaty has been signed by the president, received the advice and consent of the Senate, and has been the subject of implementing legislation by the Congress. Agreed en bloc by voice vote.

Congressman Adam Smith’s amendments regarding indefinite detention and closing GTMO both failed in nearly party-line roll call votes (Susan wrote about these amendments yesterday).

  • Smith Amendment #152: to amend Section 1021 of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under AUMF authority in the United States, territories or possessions by providing immediate transfer to trial and proceedings by a court established under Article III of the Constitution or by an appropriate state court. Strikes section 1022 of the same Act (which provided for mandatory military custody of covered parties). 200-226 (181 Democrats in favor, 213 Republicans against).
  • Smith Amendment #20: Provides a framework to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by December 1, 2014. 174-249 (172 Democrats in favor, 228 Republicans against).

The House swiftly considered a motion to recommit, which failed 194-225 (only 2 Republicans voted to in favor of the proposal). The amended version of the NDAA passed 315-108. The final vote had 18 Republicans and 90 Democrats voting against the bill, and 103 Democrats and 212 Republicans voting for it.

How will this version fare in the Senate?

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