Congressman John Carney (D-DE) today released the following statement after voting against the National Defense Authorization Act:
"After serious deliberation, I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because the funding levels exceed the caps agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Against the backdrop of the looming fiscal cliff, it's more important than ever that Congress make smart, responsible spending decisions. Congress shouldn't pass legislation that sets funding restrictions and then ignore those restrictions by billions of dollars the following year.
"We should be looking for ways to make responsible reductions to our defense budget while maintaining the strongest military in the world. In July, I met with retired generals who detailed the inefficiencies in our military procurement process. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has outlined opportunities to save billions of dollars by ending production of outdated planes, ships, and tanks.
"We must implement reforms to stop the wasteful spending that adds to our deficit each year. I can't support this legislation because it does not do enough to address these inefficiencies -- especially with an increasing budget deficit and calls to slash important investments in education, infrastructure and research.
"In addition, after more than a decade in Afghanistan, we have spent more than $500 billion and decimated al-Qaeda. It's time to bring our troops home. We should also downsize our military bases and troop presence in Europe, as recommended by former Defense Secretary Gates, to save taxpayer dollars and better reflect today's global threats.
"Lastly, I am troubled by provisions of the bill related to indefinite detention. While I take the President at his word that his administration will not indefinitely detain Americans without trial, I believe the fundamental right to a trial is too important to leave in doubt. I was disappointed that House and Senate conferees removed language that would have explicitly affirmed Americans' right to a trial, and I am hopeful that next year's version of the Defense Authorization Act will include this critical language."