Leader Cantor says intelligence bill will 'pay tribute' to bin Laden mission

House Republican leaders who were criticized for not commemorating the death of Osama bin Laden say an intelligence bill headed to the floor this week will honor the achievement. 

Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJohn Feehery: GOP: Listen to Reince The Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge MORE (R-Va.) on Tuesday said legislation lawmakers will consider later this week will "pay tribute" to the military and the intelligence community in lieu of a resolution expressly honoring the mission that took out bin Laden. 

Cantor indicated the House would not debate a congratulatory measure that dozens of lawmakers have sponsored, in keeping with new House GOP rules that forbid commemorative resolutions.

ADVERTISEMENT
“As we considered that last week, we deal with the rules we put in place in the House, and we’ve said since we assumed the majority that we want to be substantive and meaningful,” Cantor said at his weekly press briefing. 

“We also understand the large impact that was gained by the intelligence community and the SEALs activity in Pakistan and obviously is worthy of our support. So we believe the best way to express that support [and] extend congratulations is in the context of the intel bill,” Cantor said.

GOP leaders had indicated from the outset last week that a congratulatory resolution was not in the offing, but Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday it remained under discussion. 

Congratulatory measures offered by Reps. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson-LeePelosi: ‘We must and we will bring back’ Nigerian schoolgirls Big bucks spent honoring lawmakers Black caucus treads carefully into Apple-FBI fight MORE (D-Tex.) have drawn bipartisan support, and some Democrats have criticized the GOP for not making an exception to the rule on resolutions. The Senate unanimously approved a congratulatory resolution last week.

Cantor noted the Congress has not approved a full intelligence authorization bill in six years, and he predicted this one would pass the Senate and make it to the president’s desk. The GOP bill reduces the budget authority of the various intelligence agencies by $47 billion, though Republicans hope the legislation will bring more clarity on spending for the remainder of the fiscal year.