House Votes to Go to Conference on Defense Bill

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The House on Thursday voted to go to conference on the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill after the Senate removed language from its version that ran afoul of a constitutional requirement that legislation affecting revenue must originate in the House.Fixing the procedural issue delayed the House vote by a day. After the vote, Republicans and Democrats in the House named their representatives to the conference committee. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) named 18 House Republican conferees; the Democrats will have 14. The Senate will likely name its conferees after the July 4 break, reported the Hill.The Senate stripped out a section from its version related to the treatment of the DOD Military Retirement Fund as a qualifying trust, which constitutes a revenue measure. Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) thanked Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for agreeing to the quick fix so that the House-Senate conference to reconcile the competing versions of the authorization bill would not be delayed.Earlier Thursday, House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) was named chairman of the negotiations during a “pass the gavel” ceremony; the committees alternate who chairs the conference each year. Prior to the ceremony, Thornberry told reporters both sides would work hard to resolve differences in the two versions of the defense policy measure.“We’re going to work hard to resolve issues and try to get them done mid-July, or at least in time before the August break,” he said.McCain said he didn’t “know of any real markup differences” on major areas, according to the story.One overriding issue is President Obama’s threat to veto the authorization bill over its reliance on DOD’s war account to sidestep the Budget Control Act spending caps as well as the lack of language authorizing a new BRAC round.last_img

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