Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after his vote in support of an amendment to the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to ban indefinite and mandatory detention of American citizens on U.S. soil. The amendment failed by a vote of 182-237.
“It is troubling that Republican opposition once again blocked repeal of a dangerous and unprecedented provision that challenges our basic constitutional right to due process,” said Rep. Moran. “The United States should never hold an individual, American or otherwise, indefinitely without charge.”
“Without the responsible changes provided by the Smith-Amash amendment, I cannot support the overall NDAA.” Moran continued. “The bill undermines our federal and state civilian court systems, which have proven themselves more than capable of prosecuting terrorism suspects and has the potential to open the floodgates to a widespread undermining of civil liberties.”
The bipartisan amendment, introduced by Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Justin Amash (R-MI), removed language included in the FY ’12 NDAA that granted the Executive Branch authority to indefinitely detain without charge virtually any individual picked up in anti-terrorism efforts, and required mandatory military detention of those accused of terrorism, including those arrested on U.S. soil.
Rep. Moran voted against the FY ’12 NDAA in December 2011, specifically objecting to the indefinite detention provision.