“NO” on Smith-Gibson Amendment #73 and Blumenauer-Mulvaney #222

This week, the House is considering amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 (H.R.1960).  Heritage Action is key voting the following two amendments.

“NO” on Smith-Gibson Amendment #73

Amendment 73, offered by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), amends Section 1021 of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) authority in the United States, territories or possessions by providing immediate transfer to trial and proceedings by a court established under Article III of the Constitution or by an appropriate state court. It also strikes section 1022 of the same Act (which provided for mandatory military custody of covered parties).

Heritage’s Cully Stimson has explained that AUMF, which is limited to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and persons and forces associated with those “organizations,” has served the country well.  The language of AUMF necessarily includes the power to detain those subject to the boundaries of AUMF. 

Both the Obama and Bush administrations have relied on AUMF’s detention authority.  Stimson explains, “Such a program, under proper supervision within the executive branch and appropriate oversight from the Congress, is a necessary and invaluable tool.”  Moreover, the Supreme Court explained “detention of individuals [who fought against the United States as part of the Taliban], for the duration of the particular conflict in which they were captured, is so fundamental and accepted an incident to war as to be an exercise of the ‘necessary and appropriate force’ Congress has authorized the President to use.”

Heritage Action opposes the Smith-Gibson Amendment #73 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

“NO” on Blumenauer-Mulvaney #222

Amendment #222, offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), reduces from 11 to 10 the statutory requirement for the number of operational carriers that the U.S. Navy must have. 

Heritage has explained:

In the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf War, U.S. leaders decided to use the requirement to conduct two major regional conventional contingencies (MRCs) at the same time as the basis for sizing the U.S. military. In fact, every Administration for the past two decades found that a force sized to fight two wars was essential for meeting the ongoing demands for forward presence, crisis response, regional deterrence, humanitarian assistance, building partnership capacity, homeland defense, and support to civil authorities.

The decision to maintain 11 aircraft carriers as part of a two-MRC force is not arbitrary.  Heritage has explained that it is based on some 20 years of analyses and studies as well as the experiences of Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

At the very moment in history when the U.S. should be building a two-MRC force capable of protecting U.S. interests by modernizing existing platforms and systems, and investing in advanced air, sea, and land capabilities, this bill would degrade our military capabilities.

Heritage Action opposes the Blumenauer-Mulvaney #222 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Related Links:
Heritage Action Scorecard