Friday, May 15, 2009

HS Committee Passes HR 2200 in Bipartisan Vote

Yesterday the full House Homeland Security Committee marked up the version of HR 2200 reported out of the subcommittee last week and adopted the revised bill in a near unanimous vote (22-Yes, 1-present, 0-No), extending the record of bipartisan support for this bill. As early as next week the Committee Report on the bill should be reported to the full House, opening the door for a floor vote anytime there after. Because very few of the large number of amendments made to this bill in either the subcommittee or full committee hearings were read into the record we will not be able to tell for sure what HR 2200 actually contains until we see the amended version of the bill in the House Report. Most of the amendments made today were done on voice vote with little or no opposition. There were a few amendments that drew ‘perfecting’ amendments from the opposite side of the aisle. The votes on most of those issues were on the record and were closer to a party line vote. For example an amendment to require DHS to add current Gitmo Detainees to the Do Not Fly List was countered with an amendment to the effect that this should only be done after the President determines their ‘final status’. This was the most rancorous discussion during the hearing, but even that did not rise to the current level of bipartisan ‘debate’ seen on so many issues lately. This authorization bill still seems to be on the fast track for passage in the House. The broad (if some times grudging) support this bill received in these two markup hearings seems to indicate that this will have little problem passing a vote in the full House.

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