The House added provisions for federal hate crimes, including disabilities, gender and sexual orientation, into authorization of (HR 2647) $680 billion spending for the Pentagon and Department of Defense. A similar bill passed in April (H.R. 1913) sponsored by Rep. John Conyers but the Senate counterpart (S 909), introduced by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, never got out of committee.

Tucking this into defense spending practically guarantees it will get to the president's desk. Opponents criticized mixing social policy with defense spending, but Rep. Nancy Pelosi praised the vote.

Soldiers with PTSD
The bill addresses soldiers with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, specifying entitlement to medical evaluation before discharge from the military.

"a member of the Armed Forces (member) who has been deployed overseas in support of a contingency operation is diagnosed as experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury or otherwise asserts such a condition, then the Secretary of the military department concerned (Secretary concerned) may not authorize the involuntary separation of the member under conditions other than honorable until after the member receives a medical evaluation to evaluate such diagnosis.

Other hate crimes
In July, Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-Tx) introduced legislation to include hate-crimes (HR 3419) against homeless people in federal data collected by the attorney general.

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