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Jun 6, 2013

Lawmakers act to limit military authority in sex assault cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, reacting to a spate of sexual violence seen as a “cancer” in the armed forces, backed a measure on Wednesday that would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn convictions for rape and other sexual assaults.

The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee voted to include the plan in the National Defense Authorization Act, a $638 billion bill that sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the Pentagon.

Jun 5, 2013

U.S. lawmakers act to limit military authority in sex assault cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, reacting to a spate of sexual violence seen as a “cancer” in the armed forces, backed a measure on Wednesday that would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn convictions for rape and other sexual assaults.

The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee voted to include the plan in the National Defense Authorization Act, a $638 billion bill that sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the Pentagon.

Jun 4, 2013

U.S. military chiefs face grilling over sexual assault

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s top military officers told Congress on Tuesday that sexual assault represented a crisis in the armed forces but warned lawmakers against going too far with legislation stripping commanders of power within the military justice system.

The hearing comes after a wave of sexual assault scandals and new Pentagon data showing a steep rise in unwanted sexual contact, from groping to rape, that have deeply embarrassed the military.

Jun 4, 2013

U.S. military chiefs to draw line on sexual assault law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s top military officers are likely to advise Congress not to go too far overhauling the U.S. military’s justice system to address the problem of sexual assault when they testify at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and top officers from each branch of the military will comment on legislation meant to stem a rise in sexual assault cases.

Jun 3, 2013

Top lawmaker looks to rein in military contractors’ pay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A powerful lawmaker said on Monday he was including a provision seeking to rein in the amount corporate executives can make from military contracts in the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill that Congress is expected to finalize in the coming weeks.

Republican Representative Howard McKeon of California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, included the plan on Monday in his version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization act. The full committee will review the act on Wednesday.

May 28, 2013

House committee issues subpoena for Benghazi documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican chairman of a congressional oversight committee ordered the U.S. State Department on Tuesday to provide documents related to “talking points” used to discuss September’s Benghazi attacks during subsequent television appearances.

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House of Representatives panel, issued a subpoena ordering 10 current and former State Department officials to hand over “documents and communications” related to the attacks in Libya last September 11, when four Americans were killed.

May 24, 2013

Obama wants to end ‘war on terror’ but Congress balks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama wants to roll back some of the most controversial aspects of the U.S. “war on terror,” but efforts to alter the global fight against Islamist militants will face the usual hurdle at home: staunch opposition from Republicans in Congress.

In a major policy speech on Thursday, Obama narrowed the scope of the targeted-killing drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies and announced steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.

May 23, 2013

Lawmakers intensify push on military sexual assault problem

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers introduced fresh legislation on Thursday seeking to address the problem of sexual assault in the military and summoned the nation’s top commanders to testify about the crisis, which has become an embarrassment to the armed forces.

The White House and Congress have demanded changes since seeing a damning report of a steep rise in the number of assaults on members of the military and a spate of high-profile sex-related incidents.

May 22, 2013

U.S. Congress moves to tighten sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – A U.S. House of
Representatives committee approved legislation on Wednesday
seeking to impose tighter sanctions on Iran, the latest
congressional effort to slow development of the Islamic
Republic’s disputed nuclear program.

The “Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013″ passed the House
Foreign Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote and is
expected to easily pass the full 435-member chamber, where it
already has about 340 co-sponsors. A vote by the
Republican-controlled House is likely within the coming weeks.

May 22, 2013

Senate panel backs arming Syria rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to send weapons to rebels fighting Syria’s government, but it was not clear who would get the arms even if the bill succeeds, as Washington struggles to deal with its response to the conflict.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for legislation that would send arms to “vetted” moderate members of the Syrian opposition, the first time U.S. lawmakers have approved such military action in the two-year-old civil war.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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