Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Congress Set to order Repatriation

The Daily Caller - November 30, 2011

Congress set to order the repatriation of 13 American sailors killed in Libya — against the Navy’s wishes

Published: 11:49 PM 11/29/2011 | Updated: 1:22 PM 11/30/2011

The bodies of 13 American sailors killed in Tripoli may soon be coming home.

This week the Senate is considering an amendment sponsored by Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller to repatriate the remains of the sailors killed when the USS Intrepid exploded in Tripoli’s harbor during the First Barbary War in 1804.

The legislation would mandate that the Department of Defense exhume and identify the sailors’ remains — then bury them in a cemetery close to a living relative. Any unidentified remains would be interred in the Tomb of the Unknown. According to Heller, some of the sailors are interned in mass graves.

“Our nation has a responsibility to make sure that any fallen member of the Armed Forces is treated with respect,” Heller said in a statement. “For more than two hundred years, these sailors have laid to rest in a cemetery on foreign soil. It’s past time that we give these men a proper military burial in the country they died defending.”

Similar legislation, sponsored by Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers and New Jersey Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo, passed the House in May.

While the issue would seem uncontroversial, the U.S. Navy has long opposed the idea of repatriation for these men.

In a memo issued last week, Navy Legislative Liaison, Lieutenant Commander Chris Brianas explained that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert concurs with long-held Navy policy arguing that Tripoli is the sailors’ final resting place — especially given that in 1949 the Navy held a formal memorial service for the men.

Senate poised to clear defense bill Thursday
By Josiah Ryan - 11/30/11 07:57 PM ET

Senate leaders plan to finish work on the Department of Defense authorization bill for 2012 on Thursday despite several controversial amendments that still have not been resolved, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) signaled Wednesday evening.

Democratic leaders want to move past the bill, which has consumed the Senate's attention for nearly two legislative weeks, and take up the next fragment of President Obama's jobs bill, a payroll tax cut extension.

The pending defense authorization bill has inflamed passions on both sides of the aisle causing the Senate to take on an intensity and rhythm rarely seen in the legislative process so far this year.

Much of the tension has swirled around a terrorist detainee provision tucked into the legislation's text which both progressives and conservatives argue would allow for the unconstitutional detention of American citizens suspected of terrorism.

A partial list of amendments that cleared the Senate during Wednesday's session follows:

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-La.) amendment to provide for the freedom of conscience of military chaplains with respect to the performance of marriages.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) amendment to modify the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness Plan to provide that a complete and validated full statement of budget resources is ready by not later than September 30, 2014.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) amendment to require a report on the feasibility of using unmanned aerial systems to perform airborne inspection of navigational aids in foreign airspace.
Wicker amendment to improve the transition of members of the Armed Forces with experience in the operation of certain motor vehicles into careers operating commercial motor vehicles in the private sector.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) amendment to authorize the acquisition of real property and associated real property interests in the vicinity of Hanover, New Hampshire, as may be needed for the Engineer Research and Development Center laboratory facilities at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) amendment to redesignate the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital in Nevada as the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center.
Reid amendment to clarify certain provisions of the Clean Air Act relating to fire suppression agents. (#1130)
McCain amendment to require a plan to ensure audit readiness of statements of budgetary resources. (#1132)
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) amendment to require a report on the policies and practices of the Navy for naming the vessels of the Navy.
Sen. Kay Hagan (R-N.C.) amendment to require the Comptroller General to review medical research and development sponsored by the Department of Defense relating to improved combat casualty care and saving lives on the battlefield.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) amendment to authorize a land conveyance and exchange at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska.

Amendments to S.1867, DoD Authorization
NOV 30, ’1112:00 PM

...following amendments are pending to S.1867, the DoD Authorization Act: Merkley … (reserve member reintegration) Graham amendment #1179Heller amendment #1137 (make Jerusalem the capital of Israel) Helleramendment #1138 (repatriation of US military remains from Libya) McCainamendment #1247 …

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) amendment to provide for the consideration of energy security and reliability in the development and implementation of energy performance goals.
Warner amendment to promote increasing acquisition and procurement exchanges between officials in the Department of Defense and defense officials in India.
Warner amendment to express the sense of Congress on the use of modeling and simulation in Department of Defense activities.
Warner amendment to express the sense of Congress on ties between the Joint Warfighting and Coalition Center and the Allied Command Transformation of NATO.
Warner amendment to require a report on the effects of planned reductions of personnel at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center on personnel skills at the Center.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) amendment to extend the number of years that multiyear contracts may be entered into for the purchase of advanced biofuels.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) amendment relating to man-portable air-defense systems originating from Libya.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) amendment to require the maintenance of a triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oka.) amendment to require the Comptroller General of the United States reports on the major automated information system programs of the Department of Defense.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) amendment to require an assessment of the advisability of stationing additional DDG-51 class destroyers at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) amendment to require a certification on efforts by the Government of Pakistan to implement a strategy to counter improvised explosive devices.
McCain - Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) amendment to require a Comptroller General report on redundancies, inefficiencies, and gaps in DOD 6.1-6.3 Science and Technology (S&T) programs.
McCain-Portman amendment to require a Comptroller General report on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives.
Shaheen amendment to require a Department of Defense assessment of the industrial base for night vision image intensification sensors.• Warner amendment to provide for installation energy metering requirements.
McCain amendment to provide for increased efficiency and a reduction of Federal spending require for data servers and centers.
McCain amendment to require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the probationary period in the development of the short take-off, vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.
Warner amendment to establish a training policy for Department of Defense energy managers.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) amendment to require a pilot program on the receipt by members of the Armed Forces of civilian credentialing for skills requires of military occupational specialties.
McCain amendment to require the Secretary of Defense to submit, with the budget justification materials supporting the Department of Defense budget request for fiscal year 2013, information on the implementation of recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office with respect to the acquisition of launch services through the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.
McCain amendment to require a plan for normalizing defense cooperation with the Republic of Georgia.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) amendment to extend the time limit for submittal of claims under TRICARE for care provided outside the United States.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) amendment to authorize the award of the distinguished service cross for captain Frederick L. Spaulding for acts of valor during the Vietnam War.
Levin amendment to authorize the exchange with the United Kingdom of certain F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) amendment to require the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a long-term plan for maintaining a minimal capacity to produce intercontinental ballistic missile solid rocket motors.
Portman amendment to require a report on the analytic capabilities of the Department of Defense regarding foreign ballistic missile threats.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) amendment to extend the authorization for a military construction project for the Air National Guard to relocate a munitions storage complex at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Mississippi.
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) amendment to require exploration of opportunities to increase foreign military training with allies at test and training ranges in the continental United States.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) amendment to require a report on the approval and implementation of the Air Sea Battle Concept.
NOV 30, ’1112:00 PM
Amendments to S.1867, DoD Authorization

Heller amendment #1137 (make Jerusalem the capital of Israel)
Heller amendment #1138 (repatriation of US military remains from Libya)

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