House adds Taiwan, POW flag language to defense authorization

The U.S. has avoided high-level meetings with Taiwan officials for years in a nod to Chinese opposition to any formal recognition of Taiwan as a separate state. But Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) successfully passed language saying Congress thinks these meetings should take place.

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Members also approved language from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) requiring the POW/MIA flag to be flown every day of the year on some federal buildings.

These two proposals were added as part of a block of amendments added by voice vote — others were from:

— John Larson (D-Conn.), ensuring access to behavioral health treatment;

— Don Young (R-Alaska), clarifying language on sole-source contracts to Native Americans;

— Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), restricting funding for the space-based infrared systems space modernization initiative until the Department of Defense makes certain certifications to Congress;

— Rush Holt (D-N.J.), directing the department to report whether its science and math scholarship program is helping to produce necessary degrees in these fields;

— Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), requiring a report on how the Department of Defense will maintain support for bomb-sniffing dogs;

— Bachmann, increasing funding for the Marine Corps Embassy Security group;

— Bachmann, increasing funding for a Marine crisis response team;

— Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), requiring department outreach to small businesses owned by women and minorities;

— Jackson Lee, requiring posting of information relating to sexual assault prevention;

— Holt, relaxing rules related to suicide prevention efforts;

— Jackson Lee, increasing cooperation with the National Institutes of Health to fight Triple Negative Breast Cancer;

— Jackson Lee, adding a sense of Congress on the need to develop a plan to ensure there are enough mental health counselors;

— Jackson Lee, providing for automated information and data capture technologies;

— Young, requiring the Defense Department to report on the strategic value of installations in the Pacific region;

— Young, requiring GA to review the potential of co-locating federal entities on military bases;

— Lamborn, adding a sense of Congress on the threat posed by Hezbollah and encouraging European countries to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist entity;

— Young, allowing the Maritime Administration to receive funding from non-federal entities; and

— Young, allowing the Maritime Administration to give funding priority to 21 strategic seaports in the United States.