By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter
On Wednesday, November 25, US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) released a statement after President Barack H. Obama signed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Congressman Byrne said, “I’m pleased President Obama finally decided to put politics aside and sign the National Defense Authorization Act today. As you may remember, this is the bill that authorizes construction of three additional Littoral Combat Ships, which are built by Austal in Mobile. The bill also includes a number of important reforms and blocks the President from transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the United States.”
Rep. Byrne said, “I would have like to seen even more money go toward national defense, but the bill provides to resources needed to meet our needs.”
On Thursday, November 5 the US House of Representatives passed an updated version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 370 to 58, enough to override a presidential veto.
On November 5 Rep. Byrne said, “You may remember that President Obama vetoed the original NDAA because he wanted more money to be spent on non-defense programs. The budget deal approved by Congress last week resolved the issue over spending limits, so it is expected that President Obama will sign this version of the NDAA. The bill will still need to be approved by the Senate, but Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said he expects the Senate to easily pass the bill early next week.”
Rep. Byrne said, “There is nothing more important for Congress to be doing than supporting our nation’s military. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is important for the over 4,000 men and women who work at the Austal shipyard in Mobile.”
After the House passed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) issued a written statement: “I want to applaud Chairman Mac Thornberry and the Armed Services Committee for their hard work on this bill. With this legislation, we are starting to build a 21st-century military that can tackle all of our national-security challenges. Most important of all, this bill will provide for our troops and their families.”
The NDAA that President Obama signed while most Americans were focused on their Thanksgiving holiday was virtually identical to the one that he vetoed last month. President Obama objected to the NDAA’s inclusion of language banning the President from closing the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Congress did not change that language; but the bipartisan budget deal that funded President Barack Obama’s domestic spending priorities until the end of his presidency was a major concession that the President had wanted from Republican leaders.
President Obama has suggested that Congress has exceeded its Constitutional authority by attempting to deprive the President of the executive authority to decide where and when to put the 107 detainees still in Guantanamo on trial. The Congress believes that the men are too dangerous to move to American soil.
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.