New Year’s Eve News Dump: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill

By: Saturday December 31, 2011 12:58 pm

The President signed the defense authorization bill today, appending a signing statement expressing concerns with the detainee measures in the bill. The White House had earlier stated they would not veto the bill, so this was no surprise. “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, [...]

Occupy Des Moines Protesters Take Over Obama HQ, Iowa Democratic Party HQ

By: Monday December 19, 2011 12:57 pm

A unique pressure campaign has been playing out in Iowa, where the group Occupy Des Moines and other progressive groups briefly took over both the Obama for America and the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters, just as the media spotlight descends on the city two weeks before the caucuses. Occupy Des Moines, in conjunction with Veterans [...]

President Will Not Veto Defense Authorization Bill, Despite Detention Provisions

By: Wednesday December 14, 2011 1:32 pm

After its FBI Director told Congress that the revisions to the defense authorization bill did not satisfy his concerns with the bill, the White House issued a statement of Administration policy saying that they would not veto the bill, despite an earlier threat. Here’s the statement from the Press Secretary. We have been clear that [...]

After FBI Director Testimony, Veto of Defense Authorization Bill Appears Likely

By: Wednesday December 14, 2011 11:32 am

It really looks like the White House is prepared to veto the defense authorization bill, adding on to Congress’ woes at the end of a tumultuous year. FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, and he declared the defense authorization bill, which contains provisions essentially mandating indefinite military detention of [...]

House-Senate Agreement Reached on Omnibus Spending, Defense Authorization Bills

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 7:01 am

Two major year-end pieces of legislation were readied yesterday, and in this case, House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on the measures, expecting to pass them by the end of the week. First, appropriators agreed to a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill covering the rest of the fiscal year (to September 30 of next year) [...]

Government Funding Bill Expected By End of Week

By: Monday December 12, 2011 10:28 am

Congress has apparently decided that it can only deal with one major fight at a time. At the same time that the parties jockey over whether to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, at the end of this week the current continuing resolution to fund the government expires. Currently only one-quarter of the [...]

Feinstein Amendment Punts Issue of Indefinite Detention of Americans to Courts

By: Friday December 2, 2011 8:15 am

An amendment from Dianne Feinstein passed as part of the Senate’s defense authorization bill yesterday punts one small aspect of detention policy to the courts, namely whether the US military can indefinitely hold an American citizen. Adam Serwer, who has had excellent coverage of the detention pieces of the defense bill, had this report: Can [...]

Senate Passes Merkley Amendment to Speed Up Afghan Withdrawal

By: Thursday December 1, 2011 7:35 am

Yesterday, as part of the defense authorization bill, Sen. Jeff Merkley offered an amendment that would ask the President for an accelerated drawdown of forces in Afghanistan. It’s the kind of amendment that we’ve seen a number of times, though certainly a more modest version of it, and it always gets just a handful of [...]

Udall Amendment Fails, Setting Up Showdown on Defense Authorization Bill

By: Tuesday November 29, 2011 2:12 pm

Mark Udall’s amendment to strip out indefinite detention provisions from the defense authorization bill failed today, and the bill will likely pass the Senate with the provisions intact. The Senate soundly defeated a move to strip out controversial language requiring mandatory detention of some terror suspects, voting it down 61 to 37 and escalating a [...]

Mark Udall Trying to Strip Out Indefinite Detention Regime from Defense Bill

By: Monday November 28, 2011 12:02 pm

Other than the payroll tax legislation, the big news in the Senate this week is the defense authorization bill, traditionally seen as must-pass legislation. It seems like every year there’s some big controversy over this bill.  This time that comes in the form of a measure that would mandate indefinite detentions of terrorist suspects in [...]

Obama Administration Threatens Veto Over Detention Policy Tucked Into Defense Bill

By: Thursday November 17, 2011 11:49 am

In the space of a couple days, the US Senate was poised to essentially legalize indefinite detention and open up the possibility for US citizens to come under such a regime. The defense authorization bill included a provision requiring that any non-citizen suspected of terrorism be held in military custody, and opened the practice up [...]

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