A showdown looms in the House over whether to end the indefinite detention without trial of terrorist suspects, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders.
Democrats and tea party Republicans lobbied their colleagues furiously ahead of Friday’s vote, arguing that indefinite detention gives the executive branch extraordinary power that violates Americans’ constitutional rights. Opponents insisted that any change in the law would weaken national security and coddle terrorists.
The divisive issue was playing out as the House considered a $642 billion defense budget for next year. Final passage of the legislation was expected Friday afternoon.
The spending blueprint calls for money for aircraft, ships, weapons, the war in Afghanistan and a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel, billions of dollars more than President Barack Obama proposed. House Republicans abandoned last summer’s deficit-cutting plan that was worked out with Obama, embracing a budget that adds $8 billion for the military while slashing funds for some safety-net programs for the poor such as Medicaid and food stamps.
The White House has threatened to veto the bill, citing a long list of objections. The bill snubs the Pentagon’s budget that was based on a new military strategy that shifts the focus from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to future challenges in Asia, the Mideast and in cyberspace. The bill spares aircraft and ships slated for retirement, slows the reduction in the size of the Army and Marine Corps and calls for construction of a new missile defense site on the East Coast.
Read More at OfficialWire. By Donna Cassata.
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