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McKeon's statement on the signing of the 52nd National Defense Authorization Act

Posted: December 26, 2013 6:06 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2013 6:06 p.m.

WASHINGTON-- Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on the President signing the National Defense Authorization Act for FY14 into law.

"I am very grateful that President Barack Obama has signed the 52nd National Defense Authorization Act into law.

"The law makes important reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, taking steps to heal the scar of sexual assault within the ranks. Though we still have much work to do, the law also takes steps to restore readiness to our forces worn down by a decade at war and repeated budget cuts.

"As he signed the law, the President renewed his call for the closure of the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. No one believes that GTMO is ideal, but the major impediment to its closure isn't congressional intransigence, but the lack of a clear detention policy from the President. We can't turn dangerous terrorists loose on blind faith. Before we can consider that step, the President must first tell us how he would deal with those detainees who are too dangerous to release but cannot be tried; what standards he would use to transfer those he can; and how he would deal with new terrorist captures and those dangerous terrorists still held in Afghanistan.

"President Obama's signature marks the culmination of an extraordinarily lengthy and difficult process. Members worked together in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to craft an NDAA that keeps faith with our men and women in uniform and ensures that they have the tools and support they need to defeat any national security threat that we may face. While this year's process was less than optimal, my hope is the bipartisan spirit that carried the bill over the finish line this year will also contribute to more timely consideration in the years to come."

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