Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) scrapped several controversial measures from the defense authorization in an attempt to pass the bill before the end of the year.
The two also worked across the Dome with House Members to ensure the bill will clear both chambers. Levin told reporters Wednesday that “anything controversial that can’t make it through both houses” was cut from the newest version. House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) also introduced the bill in his chamber Wednesday.
“Over the last few days, we worked closely together and then with the House of Representatives to come up with a defense bill that we believe can pass both the House and the Senate,” Levin and McCain said in a joint statement Wednesday. “Because of the unique circumstances in which the bill is being considered and the importance of the legislation to our men and women serving in uniform at a time of war, we have agreed to drop many controversial provisions that were included in the House and Senate versions of the bill.”
A repeal of the ban on openly gay service members and a provision to allow abortions in military hospitals were not included in the text of the bill Skelton introduced. The House passed a defense authorization in May that included a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but the language tripped up that bill’s progress in the Senate.
The annual defense measure, which in past years has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, includes pay raises and benefits for troops, along with the authorization of equipment and training programs.
The House passed stand-alone DADT repeal legislation Wednesday. The bill moves to the Senate, where several procedural hurdles and the year-end legislative rush could threaten its passage.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.