Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) released the following statement regarding the House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
"One of the legitimate roles of Congress is to provide for the defense of our nation. I am pleased that the House came together to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which will fund our military and national security through FY 2013.
"I am disappointed that funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program was discontinued in this year's NDAA legislation. I will continue to work to restore this funding, as the MEADS program improves the capability to defend our troops. The program, developed by Lockheed Martin located in Syracuse, NY, is also vital to my district's economic vitality.
"In addition to providing the necessary funding for our nation's security, this year's NDAA adjusted some concerning language regarding detainees that was contained in last year's bill. With passage of the Landry/Gohmert/Rigell amendment we have guaranteed civil liberties to United States citizens. It explicitly re-affirms and protects the constitutional rights of American citizens, and states clearly that no citizens' constitutional rights can be denied under the provisions of the defense bill.
"There must be a balance that guarantees the civil liberties of Americans while keeping our nation safe. The Landry/Gohmert/Rigell amendment will protect our civil liberties without damaging efforts to keep Americans safe."
The original NDAA bill stated that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the FY 12 NDAA detainee provisions do not allow for the detention of any person in the United States without the right of redress, affirming that all Americans have access to the Writ of Habeas Corpus. The Landry/Gohmert/Rigell Amendment further strengthens the protections in the law by stating that no citizens' constitutional rights will be denied in an Article III court pursuant to the AUMF.
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House today by a vote of 299-120. The bill now moves to the Senate for further action.