House finishes Wednesday work on NDAA

The second, from Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), would have required all foreign terrorists to be tried in military tribunals, removing the option of trials in civilian courts. Democrats rejected this as shutting down options for the government. Recorded votes were asked for both amendments.

A third amendment that will be closely watched is one from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would eliminate language in the bill that many see as congressional authorization of continued, open-ended military action against terrorist groups around the world. Amash was joined by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who said he fears an expansive use of military force around the world as a result of the current NDAA language.

But several Republicans rose to oppose the amendment and said the bill as it stands mirrors the Obama administration's current interpretation of the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution that was passed a week after the 9/11 attacks.

Amendments related to troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan were also debated briefly Wednesday night. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) defended his amendment to withdraw U.S. ground troops from Afghanistan and require the Department of Defense to submit a withdrawal plan 60 days after the language becomes law.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) defended his amendment to prevent the use of DOD funds to deploy ground troops in Libya. This amendment is supported by 17 other House members from both parties and is anticipated to pass in Thursday's roll-call vote.

In the evening debate, the House decided only on three amendments by voice vote. Members accepted an amendment from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would include a sense of Congress that the deployment of National Guard personnel along the southwestern border should continue through the end of FY 2011.

Also by voice vote, members rejected language from Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to freeze DOD spending at current levels until the completion of an audit of the Pentagon. Members also accepted one from Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) to require studies on the impact that military base closures and realignments have on local businesses and neighborhoods.

An amendment from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) to remove satellites and related technology from the U.S. Munitions List, but keep a ban on selling this technology to China, its allies and terrorist-sponsoring nations, was withdrawn.

Before the late Wednesday session, members held roll-call votes on several amendments, and approved and rejected others by voice vote.

— This story was updated at 11:10 p.m.