The U.S. House on Wednesday night quickly approved an amendment to a defense policy bill that would require President Barack Obama to report to Congress on what is known about those who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012 — and also what actions have been taken to capture the attackers.
The language also requires Obama to determine whether he has the authority to use force against the attackers, and makes a finding that the attackers still pose a security threat to the United States.
The amendment from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was attached to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that will eventually have to be reconciled in the Senate before it becomes law.
It was passed on the same day that Democrats said they would participate in the House’s Select Committee on Benghazi. It also comes amid ongoing skepticism from Republicans that Obama has done anything to try to find the attackers responsible for the death of four Americans in Benghazi.
Members approved Duncan’s language with no debate, in a broader package of amendments that were okayed after just a few minutes of debate. Another one of those would require the Pentagon to revise its regulations on religious freedom.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said in April that he proposed his amendment because new Air Force regulations limit people’s religious rights.
“This Air Force regulation establishes limits on free speech and religion for those in leadership positions,” Lambor said last month. “The right to free speech and religion is a self-protecting right. It is not grounds for a bystander to silence a leader’s speech simply because the bystander objects to certain opinions.”
Yet another amendment accepted Wednesday came from two Democrats, and would require a report to Congress on crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram.
The House was expected to debate and move through more than 100 amendments to the NDAA on Wednesday night. Several of these were expected to be approved by voice vote, including language from:
— Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), prohibiting the Defense Department from spending money to build recreational facilities for detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
— Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), prohibiting any Defense Department official from using a drone to kill a citizen of the United States, except those who are engaged in combat against the United States.
— Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), prohibiting the use of funds to implement the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty unless that treaty is ratified by the Senate.