Bipartisan House group to attack 'permanent war' language in Defense bill

A bipartisan group of six members, made up of three Republicans and three Democrats, have proposed stripping the language entirely. This amendment is supported by Republican Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Walter Jones (NC) and Ron Paul (Texas), and Democrats Barbara Lee (Calif.), John Conyers (Mich.), and Jerrold Nadler (NY).

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-Calif.) has a similar amendment, as do Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who offered an amendment together. Garamendi has a related amendment that would terminate the language after three years.

Nadler has three other related proposals. One would sunset the language after five years, one would eliminate language saying belligerents can be held "until the termination of hostitilities," and the third would eliminate the "associated forces" language, which would keep the language related only to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Among the dozens of other amendments put forward so far is one from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is proposing language that would prohibit DoD funds from being used for military operations in Libya. Kucinich on Monday also put forward a bill that calls on the U.S. with withdraw from Libya, which would take effect 15 days after it's passed.

A few China-related amendments were also introduced, including one from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) that would broaden the type of Chinese entities that could not get DoD contracts. Others would continue the ban on sending satellites and related technology to China, and one would require an assessment of how Japan's holdings of U.S. debt affect U.S. national security, matching a study the bill already requires as related to China.

While more than 200 amendments have been put forward so far, the House Rules Committee on Tuesday is expected to approve a rule that whittles them down to a more manageable number. The House will begin work on the bill Tuesday, but is expected to continue working on the NDAA bill, H.R. 1540, at least into Wednesday.

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