Tuesday, July 23, 2013

House Rules Committee Adopts Structured Rule for HR 2397

The House Rules Committee earlier this evening adopted astructured rule for the consideration of HR 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. The unusual move by the Republican leadership will restrict the amendment process to ‘just’ 100 amendments listed in the Committee Report on the Rule. This was apparently done to prevent passage of amendments that would have defunded NSA or restricted the President’s options to respond to the current conflict in Syria and potential conflict in Egypt.

New Cybersecurity Amendments

There is only one cybersecurity related amendment among the 100 amendments that may be considered during the debate in the House. That is amendment #7 from Rep Langevin (D,RI). It would reduce the appropriation for Operations and Maintenance, Defense-Wide by $5 million and transfer that amount to RDT&E, Defense-Wide for the purpose of restoring the funding for Cyber Security Advanced Research to the amount requested in the President’s Budget.

Moving Forward

This bill will probably come to the floor this week. It is quite possible that it will  pass if the leadership manages to keep the more conservative elements of the Republican side of the House in line. It is not clear that just allowing votes on watered down amendments (# 97 thru 100) dealing with the NSA funding and limited restrictions on dealings with Syria or Egypt will be enough to accomplish that feat.

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