Washington Week

Published Dec 2, 2012 at 04:00AM

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday and Thursday, the Senate voted on multiple amendments to the Defense Authorization bill, which would fund the nation’s military for another year.

Among those that passed were:

• An amendment sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., that would remove caps on how much the military can spend on alternative fuels (62 for, 37 against).

• An amendment by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., approving the Obama administration’s plan to have all combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 (62 for, 33 against).

• An amendment sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that would improve benefits for public safety officers (85 for, 11 against).

• An amendment sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, requiring the Veterans Administration to submit a plan to reduce its backlog of paperwork (95 for, 0 against).

• An amendment sponsored by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., that strikes a prohibition on building biofuel refineries (54 for, 41 against).

• An amendment sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand which would add autism to the illness treated by TRICARE, the health care plan for active-duty members of the military and many veterans (66 for, 29 against).

U.S. SENATE vote

• In all of the above amendments (with the exception of Udall’s amendment, which Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted for):

Merkley (D) Yes

Wyden (D) Did not vote

U.S. House vote

• On Tuesday, the House approved legislation that increase the cooperation between local and national agencies along the nation’s borders. Called the Jamie Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act, the bill is named after the Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent who was killed at a fake roadblock in Mexico in February 2011. The measure passed, 397-4, with 222 Republicans and 175 Democrats voting yes, and three Republicans and one Democrat voting no.

Walden (R) Yes

Blumenauer (D) Yes

Bonamici (D) Yes

DeFazio (D) Yes

Schrader (D) Yes

— Andrew Clevenger, The Bulletin

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