Advancing a Free Society

An Analysis of the McKeon Legislation

Thursday, March 10, 2011

House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon lost no time in introducing legislation in response to the President’s Executive Order yesterday. Here is a quick and dirty analysis.

A word of disclosure is in order: I was asked for last week, and gave, my thoughts on the ideas that make up this bill. The final version, which I have now seen and will post as soon as it becomes available, contains notable and important improvements over the ideas the committee staff was kicking around last week, and I’m encouraged on that basis. That said, the bill remains a mixed bag. Some of its provisions are constructive. Some of the provisions, by contrast, are far from constructive; indeed, they range from petty and unnecessary to quite dangerous. Right now, the bad still outweighs the good. My hope is that this is an opening position on McKeon’s part, one that in dialogue with the administration can move in a positive direction.

In this post, I will lay out the good, the bad, and the ugly here—and then try to sketch where one might hope to find common ground between Congress and the administration.

Let’s start with the positive.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare