The House has passed H.R. 1960, the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the 52nd annual consecutive defense authorization bill. It provides much-needed funding, authorities, and accountability for the Defense Department. Funding levels are in line with the House budget passed earlier this year, authorizing $552.1 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the FY2014 NDAA will decrease net direct spending by $26 million in the 2014 fiscal year. Congressman Westmoreland supported the legislation.
"Simply put, I supported this legislation because it gives our troops the funding and tools they need to successfully carry out their mission to protect Americans both at home and abroad," stated Westmoreland. "We need this legislation to make sure that the men and women who risk their lives for our safety are properly provided for."
The legislation included a pay increase for our troops and continues the prohibition against transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States or to countries where previous transferred detainees have returned to the fight. In addition, the legislation included two amendments to provide further protection to American citizens by requiring the government, in habeas corpus proceedings, to provide clear and convincing evidence that any citizen detained is an unprivileged enemy combatant, and requires the DOD to submit a report to Congress every year containing the names of any citizen subject to military detention and the justification for their detention.
"This legislation will ensure that dangerous terrorists are not transferred to American soil, which would endanger the lives of the American people," stated Westmoreland. "It provides a well-deserved pay increase for our troops, while keeping within the spending limits set up by the Republican Budget passed in the House earlier this year. And it strengthens laws already in place that protect American citizens from undue or unconstitutional military detention. These are some of the many reasons why I supported this legislation."
In keeping with the new standards instituted by Republicans when they took back the majority in 2010, the authorization bill was brought up under a structured rule. This allowed for almost 200 amendments to be debated and voted on. The House passed the legislation with bipartisan support.