Wednesday: Tons of NDAA amendments, handful of nominations

The House will continue consideration of the 2015 national defense authorization, with debate expected to go late into the evening.

A vote is also expected on a measure to give the Veterans Affairs secretary authority to fire senior executives. 

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Members will consider more than 100 amendments to the defense authorization. More than 300 were filed, but the House Rules Committee did not make them all in order. Notably, it did not allow debate or a vote on Rep. Jeff Denham's (R-Calif.) proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to serve in the military in exchange for a green card.

But debate is expected over military sexual assault and a new round of base closures, among other issues.

The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m. and will spend the day considering executive and judicial nominations.

At 12:15 p.m. the Senate will vote to confirm Stanley Fischer to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. After that vote, the Senate will recess until 2 p.m. at which point there will be a vote to end debate on the nomination of David Barron to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Barron’s nomination has become controversial because he drafted legal memos justifying the administration’s killing of U.S. citizens in Yemen using drone strikes.

Lawmakers have demanded that the redacted memos be made available to all senators before the vote. The administration announced Tuesday that they would make the documents public but Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said more memos could exist that the administration is trying to hide.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has threatened to filibuster Barron’s nomination but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on the nominee last week, meaning Paul can’t stop the vote that will require only a simple majority to end debate. 

If cloture is invoked, the final confirmation vote is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday. Paul is scheduled to take the Senate floor around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday — he could decide to speak all night against Barron's nomination.

Paul would need more than five Democrats to vote against advancing Barron’s nomination. Last week, the administration held a meeting with Senate Democrats to reassure them and shore-up support.

Following the cloture vote on Barron's nomination, the Senate will voice-vote confirm the following nominees:

- Elisebeth Collins Cook to be a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

- Deirdre Daly to be U.S. Attorney for Connecticut.

- James Frazer Green to be U.S. Attorney for the middle district of Louisiana.

- Damon Martinez to be U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.