United States Senate
Dear Mr. Sadewater:
Thank you for writing to me about provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) concerning the military detention of enemy combatants. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I was deeply disappointed that the final version of the NDAA did not include important language authored by Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) regarding detainees that would have protected civil liberties while helping to keep us safe. During floor consideration of the NDAA, I voted for an amendment offered by Senator Udall that would have replaced the detainee provisions in the bill with a requirement for the Administration to report to Congress on detention authorities. Unfortunately, this amendment failed by a vote of 38-60.
I also voted for an amendment offered by Senator Feinstein that would have clarified that mandatory military detention would apply only to terrorist suspects captured outside the United States. This amendment also failed by a vote of 45-55.
I have now agreed to be a co-sponsor of S.2003, the Due Process Guarantee Act. This important bipartisan legislation would protect American citizens arrested within the United States from being held indefinitely by the U.S. military.
I strongly oppose any expansion of military detention authority that erodes our civil liberties. However, I voted for the National Defense Authorization Act because it includes a number of provisions for our troops and their families, including a pay raise requested by President Obama and important health care benefits.
Again, thank you for writing. Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.
United States Senator
(courtesy Earl Sadewater, Facebook)