News Wrap: House passes $858 billion defense bill in sweeping bipartisan vote

In our news wrap Thursday, the House passed a record $858 billion defense authorization bill in a sweeping bipartisan vote, the FDA authorized new COVID booster shots for children as young as 6 months old, Iran executed its first prisoner arrested during anti-government protests, Chinese and Saudi Arabian leaders met, and hundreds of New York Times employees staged a one-day walkout.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Congress gave final approval to requiring all states to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages. It passed the House of Representatives with nearly 40 Republicans joining Democrats in support.

    On the floor, arguments focused on protecting marriage rights against a conservative Supreme Court vs. protecting religious freedoms.

  • Rep. Tim Walberrg (R-MI):

    The bill betrays our country's commitment to the fundamental right of religious liberty by depriving religious and faith-based organizations of their tax-exempt status and depriving individual people of faith are being able to carry out fully their faith without repercussions.

  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA):

    It's hard to believe that today, in 2022, we are still fighting to protect the right for all Americans to marry the person they love. But the Supreme Court's actions this summer have shown us that we cannot take our rights for granted. No one should have to live in fear that a Supreme Court decision could invalidate their marriage in the blink of an eye.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature.

    And we will have more details after the news summary.

    The House of Representatives also passed the huge defense authorization bill today totaling a record $858 billion. It won a sweeping bipartisan vote, and now it goes to the Senate. The bill makes changes in the handling of sexual misconduct cases in the military and drops the COVID vaccine mandate for troops.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID booster shots today for children as young as 6 months old. The Pfizer and Moderna boosters target both the original virus and the Omicron subvariants. The shots will be available once the CDC gives its approval.

    Iran has announced its first execution of a protester who was arrested in ongoing unrest. He was convicted of attacking a security guard with a machete. Protests broke out in mid September after a young Kurdish woman died in police custody. They have continued despite a government crackdown.

    Across the Persian Gulf, China's President Xi Jinping held high-profile meetings today with Saudi Arabia's rulers in a visit being watched in Washington. Xi was taken through the royal palace in Riyadh by the crown prince. They signed technology and other agreements and rejected criticism of their human rights records.

    Peru's ousted President Pedro Castillo has appeared in court to face rebellion and conspiracy charges. He was arrested Wednesday after he tried to dissolve Congress, and lawmakers voted him out of office. Today, Peruvian TV showed Castillo in prison garb listening to the court proceedings. Prosecutors warned against releasing him pending trial.

  • Marco Huaman Munoz, Peruvian Public Prosecutor (through translator):

    It should be noted that, if freed, Mr. Castillo could communicate with government officials to hide or destroy elements of conviction to prevent the investigation of the truth.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Castillo's defense attorney argued that his arrest was arbitrary.

    In Germany, police say they are planning further arrests linked to an alleged far right coup plot. A wave of raids on Wednesday detained 25 suspects and seized weapons at some 50 locations. Prosecutors say the group wanted to install a self-styled prince as a new national leader.

    Back in this country, a congressional report charged that the Washington Commanders football team and owner Dan Snyder created a toxic work culture with rampant sexual misconduct. The House Oversight Committee said Snyder — quote — "permitted and participated in this troubling conduct." The Commanders called the findings one-sided.

    Hundreds of New York Times journalist and other staffers staged a one-day walkout today over pay and benefits. Strikers rallied outside The Times offices in their biggest job action and more than four decades. They gave out handbills pressing for a contract to replace one that expired in March of last year.

    And on Wall Street, stocks finally rallied after five losing sessions in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 183 points to close at 33781. The Nasdaq rose 123 points, 1 percent. The S&P 500 added 29.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Ukrainians brace for a brutal winter amid Russian attacks on the country's energy grid; how suburban zoning rules are causing rents to spike; plus much more.

Listen to this Segment