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House Lawmakers Pass Defense Bill

• Voice Of America News

By a margin of 283 to 136, lawmakers Wednesday approved the measure after the White House dropped a veto threat over the provision. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and then go to President Barack Obama for his signature. Lawmakers had said revisions were made to the detainee provision in an effort to avoid the threatened veto.

The bill authorizes funding for the Defense Department and national security programs of the Energy Department. It also provides money for military personnel, weapons systems as well as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the fiscal year that began October 1.

The measure requires military detention, subject to a presidential waiver, for foreign al-Qaida terrorists who are captured when plotting to attack the United States. A change to the detainee provision exempts U.S. citizens, but it does not guarantee suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens, a trial, and leaves open the possibility of indefinite detention.


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