The biggest takeaway from the House passing the defense bill? No one likes terrorists. Good to know.
The Republican controlled House today passed a $585 billion defense bill that would expand the military campaign against ISIS in both Syria and Afghanistan. The vote passed 300 to 119, making the legislation a bipartisan measure.
The legislation itself is all standard fare. Along with the $5 billion for an increase of air strikes and the dispatch of up to 1,500 more American troops to Syria and Afghanistan, much pork can be found within the language itself giving sizable funds to congressional districts for creating military equipment. The bill also gives money to train moderate rebels in Syria, which the Obama Administration had been requesting.
Another popular measure that is present in the House’s defense bill is the restructuring of military courts when it comes to sexual abuse cases. Specifically the bill’s language threw away the “good soldier defense” to raise doubts when an alleged crime is committed. The language would also give accusers greater leverage in deciding whether the case would be heard in a military or civilian court. This measure has been asked for by many women’s groups over the past few months as sexual abuse cases in the military increased 8% this year.
One of the requests that the Obama Administration didn’t get however was that the prohibition on transferring terror suspects to federal prisons from Guantanamo Bay be lifted. It’s still present in the defense bill.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on it early next week with the intention of passing the bill, however Republican senators have expressed concerns over unrelated issues of expanding wilderness areas within the legislation. With that said, there will be a few tweaks made to the bill, but it has every intention of passing the Senate next week.
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