National Defense Authorization Act Passes the House

Press Release

Date: Dec. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

In an effort to provide our armed forces with the necessary resources and technology to ensure the safety of our country, at home and abroad, the House of Representatives passed the conference report for the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), whose district includes Hill Air Force Base, Tooele Army Depot, and Dugway Proving Grounds, voted in support of the measu

"Providing for the common defense of our country is one of the few things to which we are constitutionally bound. With much instability and turmoil occurring around the world, it is essential that the United States continue to have robust national defense capabilities. The final conference report that we voted on today provides critical funding for defense operations, many of which are supported by military installations in Utah," said Bishop.

Within the FY2013 legislation is a provision that seeks to address some of the confusion associated with detention and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Specifically, language was inserted into the bill to clarify and strengthen the protection of Americans' due process rights. The provision helps to clarify that the AUMF and last year's NDAA do not suspend constitutional rights, including habeas corpus. Senators Lee (R-UT) and Feinstein (D-CA) had included language in the Senate version of this year's bill that was also targeted at clarifying the detainee issue. During the conference process, the House language was ultimately adopted.

"I am pleased that members in both chambers were able to push for this type of clarification. It's important that the legislation is clear about the preeminence of our civil liberties and due process for all Americans," Bishop added.

The provision added to the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act states that, "nothing in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) (AUMF) or the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81) (FY 2012 NDAA) shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in an Article III court for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights."