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Published:September 18th, 2007 06:00 EST
Yesterday, the Senate adopted 50 amendments by voice vote

Yesterday, the Senate adopted 50 amendments by voice vote

By SOP newswire

Yesterday, the Senate adopted 50 amendments by voice vote.  It debated but did not vote on the Specter (R-PA) - Leahy (D-VT) amendment No. 2022 to grant detainees the right to challenge their detentions through habeas corpus petitions and the Graham (R-SC) - Kyl (R-AZ) amendment No. 2064 to delete Section 1023 in the bill that would require the Secretary of Defense to determine the status of detainees who have been held by the Department of Defense as unlawful enemy combatants for more than 2 years. Today the Senate may spend much of his time on Washington, D.C.-related bills 

N.B.  On July 25, the Senate took the military pay raise along with the Wounded Warrior legislation (see below), and passed them as a separate bill. 

Amendments are now divided into:










= Reid (D-NV) - Feingold (D-WI) amendment establishing a firm timetable for withdrawal. 
= Dodd (D-CT) amendment requiring all troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2008. 
= Levin (D-MI) - Reed (D-RI) amendment establishing a firm timetable to begin withdrawal, requiring a new mission for U.S. forces in Iraq, but only a "goal" for the completion of the withdrawal.  
=Webb (D-VA) - Hagel (R-NE) amendment requiring more rest and training for U.S. troops before being sent back to Iraq or Afghanistan.  
= Nelson (D-NE) - Collins (R-ME) amendment requiring the President to change the mission in Iraq to force protection, counterterrorism and Iraq troop training.  
= Warner (R-VA) - Lugar (R-IN) amendment requiring a more substantial troop withdrawal than the one currently being contemplated by the White House.  
= Coleman (R-MN) - Pryor (D-AR) amendment similar to Warner-Lugar.  
= Voinovich (R-OH) amendment putting into legislation the Petraeus timeline for a partial troop withdrawal.  
= Biden (D-DE) amendment endorsing a partition in Iraq.  
= An amendment endorsing the Petraeus recommendation for a modest drawdown to pre-surge levels.  
= A denunciation of the ad.  
= An endorsement of the Iraq War as a central element in the war on terror. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sens. Levin (D-MI) & Reed (D-RI), Smith, Hagel, Kerry, Snowe, Biden, Obama, Clinton, and Durbin filed amendment No. 2087.  The amendment requires troop withdrawals to begin 120 days after enactment of the bill, with most troops out by April 30, 2008.  After that date, troops would continue to have three primary roles:  training of Iraqis, counterterrorism and protecting American personnel and infrastructure.  

Authorization to remain in Iraq

Sen. Byrd (D-WV) filed amendment No. 2003 stating that nothing in the bill provides a specific authorization for American troops to remain in Iraq. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sen. Byrd (D-WV) filed amendments No. 2004 and 2028 requiring the President to submit a plan within 60 days for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sen. Hagel (R-NE) filed amendments No. 2048 and 2058 to require a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008 all U.S. combat forces from Iraq except for a limited number for specified purposes. 

Iraq Study Group

Sens. Salazar (D-CO), Alexander, Pryor, Bennett, Casey, Gregg, Lincoln, Sununu, Collins, Domenici, Nelson of Florida, Landrieu and McCaskill filed as an amendment No. 2063 their bill S. 1545 endorsing the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, including a goal for a drawdown of troops. 

Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) filed amendment No. 2193, an unfriendly amendment, to the Salazar-Alexander amendment No. 2063.  The Chambliss amendment notes that the President's new strategy for Iraq has only recently become fully operational; supports many of the recommendations of the ISG and expresses the Sense of the Senate that except in the event of unforeseen circumstances or developments, the President's new strategy for Iraq should not be significantly altered until Gen. Petraeus and Amb Crocker report to Congress on the progress of that strategy in September 2007. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) filed amendment No. 2111 to begin Iraq troop withdrawal within a month and terminate funding for combat operations by April 30, 2008 except for limited purposes. 

Abandon Iraq combat missions

Sens. Collins (R-ME) & Ben Nelson (D-NE) filed amendments No. 2124 & 2145 to require U.S. troops to abandon combat missions and instead to focus on training the Iraqi security forces, targeting al-Qaida, protecting U.S. personnel and infrastructure and protecting Iraq's borders, with a goal of completing the transition by March 31, 2008. 

Deauthorize the Iraq War

Sens. Clinton (D-NY), Byrd (D-WV) & Sanders (I-VT) filed amendment No. 2146 to revoke the authority Congress granted for the war in 2002 so that it expires October 11, 2007, the fifth anniversary of the original authorization’s enactment.  The amendment also requires the President to seek a new authorization for the Iraq war. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sens. Feingold (D-WI), Leahy, Dodd, Kerry, Boxer, Whitehouse, Kennedy, Harkin, Sanders, and Wyden filed amendment No. 2171 to begin troop withdrawals from Iraq within 120 days of enactment and completed by March 31, 2008, leaving troops only for counterterrorism, training and protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.  The Senate rejected this amendment when it was attached to the Supplemental Appropriations bill 29 - 67 on May 17. 

Troops in Iraq

Sens. Warner (R-VA) and Lugar (R-IN) filed amendment No. 2208 to require President Bush by October 16 to come up with a plan to dramatically narrow the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq with a recommendation to begin implementing the plan by December 31. 

Permanent bases in Iraq

Sens. Biden (D-DE), Cantwell and Whitehouse filed amendment No. 2242 to bar permanent bases in Iraq. 

Withdrawal from Iraq

Sens. Dodd (D-CT), Levin, Reed, Smith, Hagel, Kerry, Snowe, Biden, Obama, and  Clinton filed amendment No. 2274 to require troop withdrawal to begin 120 days after enactment and to be completed by April 30 except for limited purposes.  The reductions will be accompanied by a comprehensive diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community for the purpose of working collectively to bring stability to Iraq. 

Sens. Levin (D-MI), Reed, Smith, Hagel, Kerry, Snowe, Biden, Obama, and Clinton filed amendment No. 2275 to the Dodd amendment with virtually the same text. 

Iraq refugee crisis

Sens. Kennedy (D-Ma), Smith, Lieberman, Brownback, Biden, Hagel, Leahy, Snowe, Durbin, Feinstein, Obama, Menendez, Levin and Voinovich filed amendment No. 2872 dealing with the Iraq refugee crisis. 


Missile defense

Sens. Vitter (R-LA) & Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2010 to authorize an additional $87 million for Aegis missile defense for destroyers.  Sens. Kyl (R-AZ), Vitter, Inhofe, Lieberman, and Lott filed amendment No. 2178 for the same purpose. 

National Guard equipment from missile defense

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) filed amendment No. 2033 to provide $500 million for the Army National Guard to repair and replace war-battered equipment to address critical shortfalls identified by the National Guard Bureau, with the funds to be cut from the European Missile Defense system ($225 million) and Airborne Laser ($275 million). 

Retirement of B-52 bombers

Sens. Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan, Landrieu and Vitter filed amendments No. 2053 & 2172 to require maintaining 63 B-52 bombers with 11 in reserve. 

Nuclear terrorism

Sens. Clinton (D-NY) & Whitehouse (D-RI) filed amendments No. 2109 and No. 2222, a version of her bill S. 1705, the Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Act, to establish the position of “Senior Advisor to the President for the Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism” and urging the President to make the prevention of a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States of the highest priority and to accelerate programs, requesting additional funding as appropriate, to prevent nuclear terrorism. 

Cost of replacing nuclear warheads

Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) filed amendment No. 2118 which would add to the nuclear posture review included in the Defense Authorization bill requirements that any plan for replacing or modifying the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile include an assessment of the estimated cost and anticipated schedule for replacing warheads. 

Nuclear workers

Sen. Reid (D-NV) filed amendment No. 2170 to include nuclear program workers in the occupational illness compensation program. 

Protecting space assets

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2223 saying that it is the policy of the United States to protect its military and civilian satellites and to research all potential means of doing so. 

Space test bed

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2225 to restore the Administration’s $10 million request for the Ballistic Missile Defense Space Test bed that the Senate Armed Services Committee had cut. 

Minuteman III missiles

Sens. Baucus (D-MT) and Tester (D-MT) filed amendment No. 2325 to bar more than 40 Minuteman III missiles from being removed from the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana until the Pentagon identifies additional missions for the base.  The Air Force had planned to retire 50 of the 80 missiles. 

Minuteman III missiles

Sens. Hatch (R-UT) and Bennett (R-UT) filed amendment No. 2878 to require a report on maintaining the Minuteman III missile until at least 2030 and replacing that missile with a follow-on missile system after 2030. 

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan

Sens. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Dodd, Coburn and Hagel filed amendment No. 2150 to create a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Iraq forces to Afghanistan

Sen. Landrieu (D-LA) filed amendment No. 2311 to make it "the foremost objective of the United States in the Global War on Terror to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other leaders of al Qaeda and to destroy the al Qaeda network." To implement this goal, the bill authorizes $2.7 billion to build and support a 70,000 soldier Afghan National Army, $258 million for drug interdiction, $26 million for translators and interpreters and $363 million to support NATO operations in Afghanistan.  The amendment also states "As the drawdown of United States combat forces in Iraq begins, the forces being drawn down should be repositioned to support operations in Afghanistan." 


Sen. Dole (R-NC) filed amendment No. 2130 to require a report on security capabilities needed to stabilize Darfur. 

Iran sanctions

Sen. Smith (R-OR) filed amendment No. 2166 to expand and strengthen sanctions on Iran and countries that deal with Iran. 


Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2227 withholding $200 million for Egypt until it implements a new judicial authority law that protects the independence of the judiciary. 


Sens. Warner (R-VA) and Webb (D-VA) filed amendment No. 2230 to limit new military assistance to Thailand until it restores democratic rule. 

Habeas corpus

Sens. Leahy (D-VT) & Specter (R-PA) filed amendment No. 2022 to grant detainees the right to challenge their detentions through habeas corpus petitions. 

Status of detainees

Sens. Graham (R-SC) & Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2064 to delete Section 1023 in the bill that would require the Secretary of Defense to determine the status of detainees who have been held by the Department of Defense as unlawful enemy combatants for more than 2 years. The committee-approved provision would establish requirements for the procedures to be used by such tribunals. 

Prosecution of enemy combatants

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) filed as an amendment No. 2083 his previously introduced bill S.576, which has 12 co-sponsors, to mend federal provisions concerning the prosecution of unlawful enemy combatants by U.S. military commissions. 

Guantanamo Bay

Sens. Feinstein (D-CA), Harkin, Dodd, Clinton, Brown, Bingaman, Kennedy, Whitehouse and Obama filed amendment No. 2125 to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center within a year. 


Sen. Specter (R-PA) filed amendment No. 2239 prohibiting expulsion, return, or extradition of persons by the United States to countries engaging in torture. 

Rights of detainees

Sens. Bond (R-MO) and Rockefeller (D-WV) filed amendment No. 2296 to require that a detainee is provided an unclassified summary of the classified evidence admitted in a Tribunal against the detainee. 

Rights of detainees

Sens. Bond (R-MO) and Rockefeller (D-WV) filed amendment No. 2297 to require that detainees are afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain witnesses and other evidence. 

Victims of terrorism

Sens. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Specter, Menendez, Cornyn, Coleman, Lott, Lieberman,  Schumer, Clinton, Casey, Collins and Graham filed amendment No. 2251 to make is easier for American victims of terrorism to assist victims of terrorism and their families to collect damages.  

Interrogation standards

Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) filed amendment No. 2884 to prohibit certain kinds of interrogation methods inconsistent with the Army Field Manuel procedures. 

Survivor benefits

Sen. Nelson (D-FL) filed amendment No. 2000 to repeal the requirement for a reduction of survivor benefits plan survivor annuities by dependency and indemnity compensation. 

Home leave

Sen. Pryor (D-AR) filed amendment No. 2027 to provide additional home leave for soldiers whose tours in Iraq or Afghanistan have been involuntarily extended. 

Couples deployed to combat zones

Sen. Gregg (R-NH) filed amendment No. 2030 to limit the simultaneous deployment to combat zones of dual-military couples who have minor dependents. 

End strengths

Sen. Coleman (R-MN) filed amendments No. 2037, 2040 (with Klobuchar) & 2117 to permit the Pentagon to adjust end strength ceilings (personnel limits) by 3% rather than 2%. 

Assisting returned soldiers

Sens. Lieberman (I-CT) & Boxer (D-CA) filed amendment No. 2055 to assist service members in obtaining necessary services immediately upon their return home after separation from the military. 

Montgomery GI Bill

Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Crapo, Durbin, Coleman, Brown, Kerry, Leahy, Harkin, Casey, Snowe, Mikulski and Klobuchar filed amendments No. 2072 & 2074 on the Montgomery GI Bill that are provisions of S.644.  The first amendment provides operational reservists with 10-year portability of their Chapter 1607 (REAP) MGIB benefits.  This year, the recently passed House FY2008 defense authorization bill (H.R.1585) includes Sense of Congress language in support of this policy.  The second amendment moves Chapter 1606 (Standard Reserve) and Chapter 1607 (REAP) benefits from Title 10 to Title 38.  This provision was included in HR 1585 (Sec. 525) and the Senate language is identical.    

Personality disorder discharges

Sens. Obama (D-IL), Bond, Boxer, McCaskill and Murray filed amendment No. 2086 to place a temporary moratorium on the use of personality disorder discharges for those service members who have served in a combat zone.   


Sens. Obama (D-IL) & Whitehouse (D-RI) filed amendments No. 2084 & 2104 to increase transparency and accountability in military and security contracting. 

Cost of rebuilding American forces

Sen. Brown (D-OH) filed amendment No. 2097 requiring a report on rebuilding U.S. Armed Forces to pre-Iraq war readiness levels. 

Cost of post-war transition

Sen. Brown (D-OH) filed amendment No. 2098 requiring a report on the cost of transitioning troops into military and civilian life in the U.S. after the Iraq War. 

Oversight of military contractors

Sens. Carper (D-DE) & McCaskill (D-MO) filed amendment No. 2123 to beef up oversight of military contractors.  The amendment requires training on contingency contracting for personnel outside the defense acquisition workforce.   

Wartime contracting

Sens. Webb (D-VA), McCaskill, Klobuchar, Brown, Casey, Tester, Cardin, Whitehouse, and Sanders filed amendment No. 2206 to establish a "Commission on Wartime Contracting" to study wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Concurrent Receipt

Sens. Reid (D-NV) and Snowe (R-ME) filed amendments No. 2235 and No. 2236 to permit retired military to receive both retirement benefits and compensation for service-connected disabilities (Concurrent Receipt). 

Contracting out

Sens. Dorgan (D-ND) and Wyden (D-OR) filed amendment No. 2248 to prohibit the head of an agency from entering into a contract for the performance of any inherently governmental function and to avoid conflicts of interest. 

Protective vehicles

Sens. Biden (D-DE), Graham, Casey, Sanders, and Brown filed amendment No. 2335 authorizing $24.6 billion for an additional 15,200 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles and $400 million for Explosively Formed Pentetrators protection. 

Littoral Combat Ship

Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) filed amendment No. 2885 to set a cost ceiling on the Littoral Combat Ship of $460 million per ship. 

Presidential signing statements

Sens. Specter (R-PA) & Kerry (D-MA) filed amendment No. 2021 stating that Congress hereby exercises its power to forbid judicial reliance on presidential signing statements as a source of authority in the interpretation of acts of Congress. 

Fairness doctrine

Sen. Coleman (R-MN) and 13 co-sponsors filed amendment No. 2020 barring the return of the “fairness doctrine” for television. 

Sen. Coleman (R-MN) and 25 co-sponsors filed amendment No. 2189 barring the return of the “fairness doctrine” for television. 

Global climate change

Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Hagel and Feinstein filed amendment No. 2042 to require a National Intelligence Estimate on the anticipated geopolitical effects of global climate change and the implications of such effects on the national security of the United States. 

Hate crimes

Sens. Kennedy (D-MA) & Smith (R-OR) filed amendment No. 2067 to strengthen federal law to prevent, investigate and prosecute hate crimes.  The text is identical to S. 1105, the Mathew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act 

Sen. Brown (D-OH) filed amendment No. 2096 to require a comprehensive accounting of the funding required to ensure that the plan for implementing the final recommendations of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission remains on schedule. 

Mass atrocities

Sens. Cardin (D-MD), Biden and Feingold filed amendment No. 2103 requiring a report assessing the U.S. capability to provide training and advice to the command of an international intervention force that seeks to prevent mass atrocities. 


Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) filed a series of amendments -- No. 2140, 2041, 2042 and 2043 -- dealing with such immigration issues as international commuters, landowners liability, employment based visas and the “Secure Border Crossing Card Entry Act." 

Treatment of ethnic Americans

Sens. Feingold (D-WI), Grassley and Lieberman filed amendment No. 2151 to commission a study of the treatment of ethnic Americans during World War II, including Italian Americans, German Americans, Jewish refugees and European Latin Americans. 

National Guard

Sens. Bond (R-MO) & Leahy (D-VT) filed amendment No. 2165 to expand the power and authority of the National Guard. 

Sen. Warner (R-VA) filed amendment No. 2280 to amendment No. 2165 

Inspector general

Sens. Whitehouse (D-RI), Durbin, Mikulski, Feingold and Feinstein filed amendment No. 2169 to require Congress to be notified if an inspector general is denied information. 

9/11 attacks

Sens. Wyden (D-OR), Bond and Rockefeller filed amendment No. 2183 to require that an executive summary of the report on Central Intelligence Agency accountability regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 be made public. 

Assistance for peace operations

Sen. Levin (D-MI) filed amendment No. 2192 to provide up to $200 million annually for assistance to countries deploying soldiers for peace operations under the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). 


Sen. Coburn (R-OK) filed amendment No. 2194 prohibiting the use of earmarks to award no-bid contracts and non-competitive grants. 

Sen. Coburn filed other amendments to eliminate specific earmarks in the bill. 

State sponsors of terrorism

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2226 requiring a report on business activities carried out with state sponsors of terrorism.  

Immigration reform

Sen. Durbin (D-IL) filed amendments No. 2237 to provide educational benefits to children of immigrants and No. 2238 on immigration fraud protection. 

National Guard on southern border

Sen. Sessions (R-AL) filed amendments No. 2317 and No. 2318 to provide for the temporary National Guard support for securing the southern land border. 

Sens. Kyl (R-AZ) and Domenici (R-NM) filed amendment No. 2322 to authorize $400 million for Operation Jump Start to pay for a National Guard force on the southern border. 

Deployment of American troops in Iraq

The vote on cloture on the Webb (D-VA) & Hagel (R-NE) (with a total of 29 co-sponsors) amendment No. 2012 that would have mandated minimum periods for soldiers between deployments to Iraq was 56 – 41, with 60 votes needed (July 11).  Soldiers would have to be home for at least as long as they were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan before being sent back, and no reserve soldier could be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan if he or she had been there within the preceding three years.  The President could waive this limitation if he certifies to Congress that there is “an operational emergency posing a threat to vital national security interests.” 


Lieberman (I-CT), McCain, Kyl, Graham, Coleman, Collins, Sessions, Levin, Salazar and Craig modified amendment No. 2073 accusing Iran of assisting forces in Iraq that are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and the murders of Americans, demanding that Iran cease those activities and requiring the Administration to report to Congress concerning Iran's activities there and responses to those activities was adopted 97 – 0 (July 11).  The amendment closed with the sentence: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of Armed Forces against Iran.” 

Deployment of American troops in Iraq

Hagel (R-NE), Levin, Snowe, Webb and Reid amendment No. 2032 barring Army soldiers from serving for more than 12 consecutive months in Iraq and Marines from serving for more than seven months won a 52 – 45 majority, but 60 votes were required for adoption (July 11).  Many Army combat tours were extended from 12 months to 15 months earlier this year.  The President was permitted to waive this provision "in time of national emergency."

Deployment of American troops in Iraq

Graham (R-SC), McCain & Kyl amendment No. 2978 to express the sense of Congress on length of time between deployments for members of the Armed Forces was rejected 41 – 55 (July 11).   

Protection against Iranian ballistic missiles

Sessions (R-AL) modified amendment No. 2024  stating that it should be the policy of the United States to develop and deploy, as soon as technologically possible, an effective defense against “the threat from Iran” was adopted 90 – 5 (July 12). 

Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act

Levin (D-MI) & McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 2019, a version of S. 1606 introduced with 39 co-sponsors, to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive policy on the care and management of wounded soldiers in order to facilitate and enhance their care, rehabilitation, physical evaluation, transition from care by the Department of Defense to care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and transition from military service to civilian life, was adopted 94 – 0 (July 12). 


Dorgan (D-ND), Conrad (D-ND) and Salazar (D-CO) amendment No. 2135 authorizing a reward of $50,000,000 for the capture, or information leading to the capture, of Osama bin Laden was approved 87 – 1 (July 13). 

Avoiding a failed state in Iraq

Cornyn (R-TX) amendment No. 2100 to express the sense of the Senate that it is in the national security interest of the United States that Iraq not become a failed state and a safe haven for terrorists was approved 94 – 3 (July 17). 

Iraq troop withdrawal

The vote on cloture on the Levin (D-MI)-Reed (D-RI) amendment requiring troop withdrawals to begin 120 days after enactment of the bill, with most troops out by April 30, 2008 was 52 – 47 (actually 53 – 46 because Sen. Reid switched his vote to be able to make a motion to reconsider). The vote may be reconsidered when the Defense bill returns to the Senate floor.  


Sens. Clinton (D-NY) & Mikulski (D-MD) amendment No. 2108 to require reports on the U.S. policy to ameliorate the violence in Darfur and the affected region and on DOD contributions in support of any peacekeeping operations there was adopted by voice vote on September 18. 

Drug Interdiction in Afghanistan

Sen. Schumer (D-NY) amendment No. 2308 to authorize $162.8 million for drug Interdiction in Afghanistan was adopted by voice vote on September 18. 

Chemical weapons destruction

Sens. McConnell (R-KY), Salazar, Allard and Bunning filed amendment No. 2062 to increase funding for chemical weapons demilitarization at Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Activity, Colorado, by $49.3 million was adopted by voice vote on September 18.




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