House, Senate Pass $633 Billion Military Spending Bill

Final Version Removes Attempt at Banning Military's Detention of US Citizens

by Jason Ditz, December 21, 2012

A Thursday night vote in the House passed 315-107, and the Senate vote passed today 81-14 on a reconciled version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, a military spending bill costing $633 billion.

The bill has more in common with the Senate’s initial version than the House’s, though they managed to increase the overall cost above what either version had proposed, while removing the Feinstein Amendment from the Senate version.

The Feinstein Amendment was an attempt at banning the military from detaining US citizens captured on US soil with charges or trials. The murky language of the amendment had many arguing it actually made detentions even easier, however, and it was endorsed by a number of Senators who were in favor of that.

The end version doesn’t make even a feigned attempt at correcting the NDAA 2012’s detention language, and what few opponents the final version had, like Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY), cited concern for the open-ended detention of American civilians as a chief reason to oppose it.

The bill now goes on to President Obama for a final signature, which is considered a formality since the only real objection he ever had was to the detention clauses, which he has repeatedly argued are an unconstitutional threat to his claimed power to detain anyone, at any time.

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