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WASHINGTON – An amendment that would have explicitly banned indefinite detention in the United States and repealed a controversial section of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was voted down by the House of Representatives today. The final vote was 182-237.
Today’s amendment, introduced by lead sponsors Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), was offered on this year’s NDAA. It was supported by a broad coalition of groups, which ranged from the ACLU to the Gun Owners of America to the United Methodist Church.
The vote for the Smith-Amash amendment was bipartisan, with 19 Republican members backing the amendment.
“Congress today rejected a chance to start to clean up the mess that it made last year with the NDAA indefinite detention provisions,” said Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “No president should ever have the power to order the military to imprison civilians located far from any battlefield. By rejecting this amendment, the House of Representatives failed in their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.”
The coalition letter in support of the Smith-Amash amendment is here: www.aclu.org/national-security/coalition-memo-house-urging-yes-vote-smithamash-amendment-fy2012-national-defense