Friday, June 12, 2009

The mystery of the hearing

The most intriguing question to arise during the House hearing on H.R. 569, the Equal Justice for Our Military Act, was never answered: what is the Administration's position on the bill? Chairman Hank Johnson (D-Ga. 4) observed that when the hearing was originally scheduled, DOD was sending a witness to testify. But when the hearing was moved to 11 June, no DOD witness was provided. Chairman Johnson expressed his hope that this signaled that the Administration would not oppose the bill, as the Bush Administration did last year. Ranking Member Howard Coble (R-N.C. 6) castigated the Administration for failing to send a witness. He humorously accused the Administration of being AWOL and rhetorically inquired about the penalty for failure to go to one's appointed place of duty. He also mentioned another recent incident in which the Administration had declined to send a witness to take a position on a bill.

A transcript of the hearing should be available on Friday. If so, I'll post the excerpts that deal with this still unsolved mystery.

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