The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee dealt a blow to the human-rights community by failing to include provisions to overhaul GOP legislation governing military tribunals in the 2008 defense authorization bill.[..]
Skelton said he has prepared separate legislation and is planning to work with Democratic leadership, the Judiciary Committee and members of the Armed Services panel to bring a stand-alone bill to the floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is supporting Skelton's efforts to move forward with a stand-alone bill, according to a Pelosi aide.
Concerns over a potential presidential veto of the defense authorization bill - which contains critical policies for the Pentagon - as well as a partisan split in the committee prompted Skelton to leave it to Democratic leadership to take up the issue. Congress has passed a defense authorization bill every year for the last 47 years.