Thursday: Intelligence authorization, military construction/Veterans Affairs

This bill is covered by a rule that makes nine amendments in order. Once the rule is approved, members will debate the bill and amendments, and then is expected to approve the measure.

{mosads}The rule for the intelligence bill also governs floor consideration of three spending bills, and the House is expected to start work on one of them Thursday: H.R. 5854, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

This bill would spend $146.4 billion, $10.8 billion more than current funding levels. This reflects a 10 percent increase in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will get most of the money in the bill.

The White House said on Wednesday that it would veto the bill, in part to protest the House Republican plan to seek spending levels below those reached in last year’s debt-ceiling agreement.

The rule allows for any related amendment to be considered. As such, members may debate amendments late Thursday night or early Friday morning. House Republicans are hoping to approve the bill Friday (last roll call votes are scheduled for as late as 11 p.m., but debate could continue beyond that time).

Also Thursday, the House is expected to vote on another motion to instruct conferees to the highway bill, H.R. 4348. House-Senate negotiations on a multiyear highway bill are ongoing.

Finally, the House is expected to vote on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, H.R. 3541. This bill would impose penalties on doctors who perform so-called sex-selective abortions, in which a fetus is aborted because it is not the preferred sex of the parent or family.

Members debated the bill Wednesday, which prompted Democrats to argue that the GOP bill would overly restrict the right of women to seek an abortion. The bill is expected to fail, as it will require a two-thirds majority vote.


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