Tag Archives: National Defense Authorization Act

John McCain is a POS

RINO Sen. John McCain was one of the sponsors of the National Defense Authorization Act that gives “authority” to the president and military to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial.

So it really shouldn’t surprise us that he favors capitulation on raising our national debt ceiling — yet again — and is bawling about conservatives Republicans “pushing too far.”

McCainThe Associated Press reports, May 23, 2013:

Tactics for dealing with the government’s budget and debt became the latest quarrel In a string of them between McCain —sometimes joined by other traditionalist Republicans —and Tea Party champions such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Those four won Senate seats by defying the party establishment, and are shaking up the tradition-bound Senate with no-compromise, no-apology stands on key issues like debt and deficits, government spending and the use of drones in the war on terrorism.

McCain himself has defied Republican orthodoxy at times. But he was the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, and he now is among those who say a minority party will accomplish little in the Senate if it can’t find ways to cut deals with the majority.

Cruz, who like Paul is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, renewed his taunts of the party establishment in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor. The more accommodating Republicans, he said, are in cahoots with Democrats to raise the government’s borrowing limit by disabling the GOP’s ability to mount a filibuster threat that could be used to extract spending cuts from Democrats and the White House

[...] Earlier in the day, Lee angered McCain with similar remarks. Lee said Republicans should block a House-Senate conference designed to resolve budget differences because it might ease the Democrats’ effort to raise the government’s borrowing limit. That rankled the sometimes cantankerous McCain, of Arizona. He said the Tea Partyers’ tactics could embolden Democrats who are threatening to change Senate rules that now allow the minority party — or even just one senator— to block various actions.

“That would be the most disastrous outcome that I could ever imagine,” McCain said.

For months, Democrats have complained about Republicans blocking or delaying confirmation of top White House nominees, including some federal judges. Democrats say the impasse over a budget conference is further evidence of a small group of senators in the minority abusing their powers to block actions that in the past would have gone forward after a few speeches.

Supporters of the Tea Party-backed lawmakers say the ongoing IRS and Benghazi controversies have vindicated their sharply partisan, uncompromising views. Republicans cite the controversies as examples of Democratic overreach and obfuscation.

This week’s budget quarrel follows a high-profile split between Tea Partyers and champions of a big defense program over drone attacks, and an intra-GOP disagreement over gun control tactics. It involves an obscure procedural battle and arcane rules governing the congressional budget process. Democrats want to set up an official House-Senate negotiating committee to iron out the gaping differences between the budget plans passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House.

Cruz, Lee and others say they fear House and Senate leaders will use the budget measure to engineer a scenario in which an increase in the government’s borrowing cap could pass the 100-member Senate by a simple majority instead of the 60 votes typically need to overpower the minority on an issue.

McCain and others, like Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., note that House Republicans can block any move by Democratic negotiators to engineer a filibuster-free debt limit increase.

“Isn’t it a little bizarre,” McCain said Wednesday. “Basically what we are saying here on this (Republican) side of the aisle is that we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority, Republicans.”

“Let me be clear. I don’t trust the Republicans,” Cruz responded. “And I don’t trust the Democrats. I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”

At a Tea Party rally last month in Texas, Cruz taunted fellow Republicans after the Senate rejected a call for background checks on virtually all prospective gun buyers.

Cruz and other Tea Partyers had threatened to filibuster the gun legislation and keep it from coming to the Senate floor for votes. Other Republicans said the smarter political move — which eventually prevailed — was to let the votes take place, and have a few Democrats join Republicans in rejecting the wider background checks. Cruz suggested that Republicans who favored proceeding with the votes were “a bunch of squishes.”

That earned Cruz a rebuke from the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page — gleefully retweeted by McCain. “Would it have been right for us to not even debate in light of the Newtown massacre?” McCain said.

[...] Democrats say the debt ceiling must be raised to pay for expenses already incurred by Congress. Failing to raise the ceiling, they say, would trigger a catastrophic default on U.S. obligations.

McCain scuffled with the tea party senators in March after Paul launched a filibuster to warn of the threat of unmanned drone attacks against U.S. citizens on American soil. McCain referred to newcomers like Paul and Cruz as “wacko birds” and said their fears of drone strikes against Americans were “ridiculous.”

“It has been suggested that we are ‘wacko birds,’” Cruz said Thursday. “I will suggest to my friend from Arizona there may be more wacko birds in the Senate than is suspected.”

The split between McCain, 76, and next-generation, 40-something potential 2016 candidates like Paul, Cruz and Rubio also illustrates the broader GOP drift toward the right. McCain has spent decades in the Senate, mixing a penchant for confrontation with a capacity for bipartisan relationships and legislation; the new generation is feistier and more wary of compromise.

H/t FOTM’s tina!

~Eowyn

Senate passes amendment to limit NDAA – Update

Yesterday, Nov. 29, 2012, at 10:05 p.m. (EST), the United States Senate passed an amendment to address the most repugnant part of the notorious National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 — the authorization of the federal government to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial.

The purpose of Amendment No. 3018 to S. 3254 is “To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”

Towards that purpose, a section is added at the end of subtitle D of title X of the NDAA law, to read:

Section 1032. Prohibition of the Indefinite Detention of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

Section 4001 of title 18, United States Code, is amended … by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

“(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without cause or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

“(b)(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

“(b)(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.”

[Source: Amendment No. 3018, in PDF]

The amendment was sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif), and has 17 co-sponsors:

  • 9 Democrats: Chris Coons, Frank Lautenberg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jon Tester, Tim Johnson, Sheldon Whitehouse, Max Baucus, Mark Begich, John D. Rockefeller.
  • 7 Republicans: Susan Collins, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Mark Kirk, Dean Heller, Jim DeMint, Jim Webb.
  • 1 Independent: Bernie Sanders.

The amendment passed 67-29 (4 not voting).

Can you believe that 29 senators (25 Republicans; 3 Democrats; 1 Independent) actually voted “no” on this amendment? That means these 29 senators actually are in favor of the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial!!!!

Here’s a list of the senators who voted “Nay” or “No,” followed by a list of those who voted “Yea” or “Yes”. Republicans are colored red; Democrats are colored blue. [Source: United States Senate]

Nay (25 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 Independent):

  1. Ayotte (R-NH)
  2. Brown (R-MA)
  3. Burr (R-NC)
  4. Chambliss (R-GA)
  5. Coats (R-IN)
  6. Cochran (R-MS)
  7. Cornyn (R-TX)
  8. Grassley (R-IA)
  9. Hatch (R-UT)
  10. Hutchison (R-TX)
  11. Isakson (R-GA)
  12. Johanns (R-NE)
  13. Johnson (R-WI)
  14. Kyl (R-AZ)
  15. Lieberman (ID-CT)
  16. Lugar (R-IN)
  17. Manchin (D-WV)
  18. McConnell (R-KY)
  19. Nelson (D-NE)
  20. Portman (R-OH)
  21. Pryor (D-AR)
  22. Roberts (R-KS)
  23. Rubio (R-FL)
  24. Sessions (R-AL)
  25. Shelby (R-AL)
  26. Thune (R-SD)
  27. Toomey (R-PA)
  28. Vitter (R-LA)
  29. Wicker (R-MS)

Yeas (46 Democrats, 20 Republicans, 1 Independent):

  1. Akaka (D-HI)
  2. Alexander (R-TN)
  3. Barrasso (R-WY)
  4. Baucus (D-MT)
  5. Begich (D-AK)
  6. Bennet (D-CO)
  7. Bingaman (D-NM)
  8. Blumenthal (D-CT)
  9. Blunt (R-MO)
  10. Boozman (R-AR)
  11. Boxer (D-CA)
  12. Brown (D-OH)
  13. Cantwell (D-WA)
  14. Cardin (D-MD)
  15. Carper (D-DE)
  16. Casey (D-PA)
  17. Coburn (R-OK)
  18. Collins (R-ME)
  19. Conrad (D-ND)
  20. Coons (D-DE)
  21. Corker (R-TN)
  22. Crapo (R-ID)
  23. DeMint (R-SC)
  24. Durbin (D-IL)
  25. Enzi (R-WY)
  26. Feinstein (D-CA)
  27. Franken (D-MN)
  28. Gillibrand (D-NY)
  29. Graham (R-SC)
  30. Hagan (D-NC)
  31. Harkin (D-IA)
  32. Hoeven (R-ND)
  33. Inhofe (R-OK)
  34. Inouye (D-HI)
  35. Johnson (D-SD)
  36. Kerry (D-MA)
  37. Klobuchar (D-MN)
  38. Kohl (D-WI)
  39. Landrieu (D-LA)
  40. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  41. Leahy (D-VT)
  42. Lee (R-UT)
  43. Levin (D-MI)
  44. McCain (R-AZ)
  45. McCaskill (D-MO)
  46. Menendez (D-NJ)
  47. Merkley (D-OR)
  48. Mikulski (D-MD)
  49. Moran (R-KS)
  50. Murkowski (R-AK)
  51. Murray (D-WA)
  52. Nelson (D-FL)
  53. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  54. Reed (D-RI)
  55. Reid (D-NV)
  56. Risch (R-ID)
  57. Sanders (I-VT)
  58. Schumer (D-NY)
  59. Shaheen (D-NH)
  60. Snowe (R-ME)
  61. Stabenow (D-MI)
  62. Tester (D-MT)
  63. Udall (D-CO)
  64. Udall (D-NM)
  65. Warner (D-VA)
  66. Webb (D-VA)
  67. Whitehouse (D-RI)

Note that more Republican senators voted AGAINST than FOR the amendment (25 v. 20), whereas more Democrat senators voted FOR than AGAINST the amendment (46 v. 3).

The GOP truly is dead.

See also:

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2012):

The Senate’s passage of this amendment is generating a lot of buzz on the Internet, with some being troubled by the qualifying phrase “unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention” in what some call the amendment’s key sentence, (b)(1):

(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without cause or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

However, the amendment qualifies (b)(1) with (b)(3), which leaves out the phrase “unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention”:

(b)(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.

This, however, begs the question of why have (b)(1) in the first place, if (b)(3) then qualifies it by leaving out the “unless an Act of Congress” phrase? Why not strike out (b)(1) altogether?

To further confuse matters, Michael Kelly of Business Insider contends that the amendment actually makes it EASIER for government to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely.

H/t Sage_brush for the Business Insider tip.

~Eowyn