Published On: Sat, Jan 5th, 2013

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham respond to President Obama signing the National Defense Authorization Act

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President Barack Obama signed the $633 billion fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act into law Thursday. The act allows the department to institute pay raises, bonuses and incentive pay for personnel. “All military construction has to be authorized under this act,” a senior defense official said.

The FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel, and contains $527.5 billion for DOD’s base budget, $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations and $17.8 billion for national security programs in the Energy Department and Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

It also extends the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program that has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq. It authorizes a one-year extension of the Afghan Infrastructure Fund and extends the Coalition Support Fund and the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund. In Iraq, the law authorizes U.S. training activities, the official said.

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the following in a statement issued Thursday after the President signed the act.

“President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report, marking the 51st consecutive year of enactment for this vitally important legislation. However, in a signing statement accompanying the law, President Obama repeated his previous arguments challenging the work Congress has done to protect American taxpayers, shape national security policy, and strengthen our nation’s defense.

“In his signing statement, the President objects to a provision in the NDAA related to the transfer of terrorist detainees in Afghanistan. As we hand detainees over to the Afghan and third-country governments, it is entirely reasonable to assess the security threat posed by the detainees, the stability of the countries to which they will be transferred, and those countries’ willingness and ability to prosecute and detain, as required by this provision.


Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham

We do not want to repeat a situation in Afghanistan like the one in Iraq last year in which the Iraqi government released Ali Musa Daqduq, the terrorist responsible for the deaths of at least five U.S. servicemen in Iraq, who has now rejoined Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“The President also opposes the provision requiring security certifications by the Secretary of Defense before any transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. The provision is obviously reasonable given that the recidivism rate of detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is nearly 28 percent.

“The President also objects to prohibitions on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the U.S., and the construction of facilities to house them in America. Recall that in 2009, the American people objected to bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City for trial. The American people do not want members of terrorist organizations brought to the United States for trial or detention.

“The President seems to blame these provisions for his inability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. He has it backwards. These and similar provisions in past defense bills resulted from the Administration’s announcement of an arbitrary deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by January 2010 without providing a comprehensive plan to Congress that ensured our national security and the safety of the American people. That plan, to our knowledge, still does not exist.

“The NDAA Conference Report specifically addresses issues left unaddressed by the Administration, including requiring a comprehensive report by Secretary of Defense identifying the limited military activities that could degrade the ability of the Assad regime to use air power against rebels in Syria. The Conference Report also addresses the glaring shortcomings in diplomatic security – tragically brought to light by the loss of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 – by authorizing an increase of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, which will support security at our embassies and consulates at locations identified by the Secretary of State to be at risk of terrorist attack.”

The FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act covers many other areas to include changes needed to deter sexual assault in the military, it establishes the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which will examine all aspects of military compensation, it raises the co-pay for medications under TRICARE through 2022 and it provides DOD funds for servicewomen who need abortions in case of rape or incest.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. azwi says:

    What we have with Graham and McCain are two old warmongers! Whenever there’e talk of invasions, bombings, wars, even nuclear wars, it’s made by these two buffoons. They are both war loving, war crazy, war happy, warmongering, war nuts. that simply should be ignored. In McCain’s case besides from being a warmonger he still can not get over the fact that the American people soundly rejected his out of touch hateful warmongering views in 2008. McCain simply was not qualified to be president. Since then McCain became a bitter, jealous, revengeful, hateful, vindictive warmonger. That could care less about the country he’s only after revenge with his sick and jealous hatred of President Obama. At McCain’s advance age he lacks the skills, knowledge, proficiency and temperament to understand today’s modern world. At this point too, McCain lacks the character, credibility, and integrity to be in the senate. The leadership of the GOP should demand that McCain resign.

  2. Obama removes conscience protections for military chaplains from bill, calling them ‘ill advised’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham respond to President Obama signing the National Defense Auth… […]

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