The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2013 fiscal year. The final vote on the conference report was 315-107. One of the dissenting votes was cast by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, the only member of the Virginia congressional delegation to oppose the final measure. Griffith has previously raised concerns that the bill could allow U.S. military to detain American citizens on American soil.
After the vote, Griffith issued this statement explaining his vote:
“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act previously because I did not believe that it adequately protected our civil liberties. Language in the Senate’s version of the defense authorization got us closer to a solution, but that language was rejected by the House-Senate conference committee and stripped from this conference report.
“The National Defense Authorization conference report has some good provisions for our national defense, however we cannot leave liberty to inference. Because of the uncertainty of the conference report, American citizens may fear being arrested and indefinitely detained by the military without knowing what they have done wrong. Without language that protects our liberty and freedom, I could not vote for this conference report.”