Rep. Adam Smith (D-CA), a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, blasted legislators on Thursday who voted down his amendment to end the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects.
“This is a vote against the United States constitution and it is a vote against due process,” he said in a statement after the vote. “It is mind-boggling and extremely disappointing that the party who claims to fear big government overreach has voted against an amendment to prevent the government from indefinitely detaining individuals detained on U.S. soil –- including U.S. citizens.”
Smith’s amendment to the annual defense spending bill would have repealed a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that authorized the military to detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil without charge or trial, even if they were U.S. citizens.
Only 19 Republicans voted with Democrats to repeal the indefinite detention provision, while 13 Democrats voted to keep it.
“Republicans have allowed a vote to repeal Obamacare 37 times because it is a so-called big government overreach, yet they won’t vote to prevent the government from indefinitely detaining United States citizens,” Smith concluded. “This is shameful.”
Though Smith’s amendment was defeated, the House did approve another amendment that upholds a citizen’s right to a court hearing.
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