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Congress Considers Defense Authorization Bill

At press time, both the House and Senate were considering bills (H.R. 2586/S. 1438) to reauthorize the Department of Defense (DoD). The House began consideration of the measure on September 20 and was expected to complete action that day. However, controversy arose when several Members pressed for consideration of amendments that were originally precluded by the Rules Committee. If Members of the House are unable to strike a deal on the amendments, consideration of the bill will resume next week. The Senate also is expected to complete action on the measure next week.

One of the amendments under negotiation is an amendment by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) that would repeal the restriction on privately funded abortions in overseas military facilities. Under current law, DoD covers abortions in domestic and overseas military facilities only if the life of the pregnant woman is endangered, and military personnel and their dependents serving abroad are prohibited from obtaining privately funded abortions at military facilities. Both the House and Senate bill retain current law.

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