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Legislative Round-up - June 23, 2006

I. S. 2370 Update; II. FY07 Defense Authorization Bill; III. Bills and Resolutions

...for the week ending June 23, 2006

I. S. 2370 Update

II. FY07 Defense Authorization Bill

III. Bills and Resolutions

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I. S. 2370 UPDATE
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Apparently Senate negotiations over S. 2370 have concluded successfully, with additional improvements now having been made to the text of S. 2370 in order to focus the bill more clearly on Hamas (for a detailed analysis of the previous new-and-improved version of S. 2370, please see the May 26th edition of the Round-Up).

On the evening of June 22nd word circulated among Senate staff (as well as in an AIPAC action alert) that S. 2370 might be passed by unanimous consent on the Senate floor as early as that same night. In the end, the bill did not move and no action has been taken as of this writing (although it is still rumored that the bill might move later today, June 23rd).

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II. FY07 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL ===================================

On June 22nd, following an extensive floor debate, the Senate voted to pass S. 2766, "An original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe personnel strengths for such fiscal year for the Armed Forces, and for other purposes."

Immediately thereafter the Senate considered HR 5122, the House version of the same bill, substituting the entire House text with the text of S. 2766, passing the amended version of HR 5122, and requesting a House-Senate conference on the two versions of the bill. The Senate also appointed conferees: Warner (R-VA); McCain (R-AZ); Inhofe (R-OK); Roberts (R-KS); Sessions (R-AL); Collins (R- ME); Ensign (R-NV); Talent (R-MO); Chambliss (R-GA); Graham (R-SC); Dole (R-NC); Cornyn (R-TX); Thune (R-SD); Levin (D-MI); Kennedy (D-MA); Byrd (D-WV); Lieberman (D-CT); Reed (D-RI); Akaka (D-HI); Nelson (D-FL); Nelson (D-NE); Dayton (D-MN); Bayh (D-IN); and Clinton (D-NY).

As it does every year, this bill includes substantial funding for a wide range of US- Israel cooperation programs and U.S. military procurements from Israel. Generally these programs are not earmarked in the bill but are part of the internal budget process. A detailed breakdown of these programs and procurements will be included in an upcoming edition of the Round-Up.

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III. BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS
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(Magen David Adom) H. Res. XXX: On June 22nd Rep. Ackerman (D-NY) circulated a Dear Colleague seeking original cosponsors on a resolution "congratulating Israel's Magen David Adom Society for achieving full membership in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement."

(Iran) H. Amdt. 1072 to HR 5631: On June 20th Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) offered an amendment to HR 5631, the FY07 Defense Appropriations Bill, to "prohibit any of the funds made available by the Act from being used to initiate military operations against Iran except in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States." The amendment was defeated by a vote of 158-262.

(Iran) S. Amdt. 4337 to S. 2766: On June 22nd Senate Minority Leader Reid (D-NV) offered an amendment to S. 2766, the FY07 Defense Authorization bill, "relating to intelligence on Iran." The amendment, which was adopted by unanimous consent, requires three reports from the Director of National Intelligence

- an updated National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, addressing a range of explicitly stipulated issues relating to Iran's policies, nuclear programs, defense capabilities, and relationships with terrorist organizations; international support for various actions against Iran; anticipated reaction by Iran to various actions against them; the attitudes of Iranians toward their leaders; the anticipated consequences of military action against Iran; and an assessment of the validity of the judgments in the NIE and the quality of US intelligence sources.

- a report to Congress on the objectives of U.S. policy on Iran and the U.S. strategy for achieving these objectives.

- a report on the process for vetting and clearing Administration officials' statements that are drawn from or rely on intelligence, including an assessment of whether the current policies are adequate.


For more information, contact APN Government Relations Director Lara Friedman at 202/728-1893, or at lfriedman@peacenow.org.