The bill would also require a study on the financial leverage China has over the U.S. due to the growing U.S. debt that country holds. In addition, it affirms that the U.S. is engaged in armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban and related groups, language that Democrats fear amounts to a congressional authorization of continued military action against those forces.
The House Rules Committee on Tuesday said it expects to approve a rule for the bill next week, and said amendments to the bill should be submitted by Monday, May 23. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) added in a letter to House members that these amendments should not violate the House Republican ban on earmarks.
"Moreover, I will not support any amendments for congressional earmarks during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 on the House floor," McKeon said. He also said he would judge whether an amendment is or is not an earmark "conservatively."