NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013--CONFERENCE REPORT; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 166
(Senate - December 21, 2012)

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  NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013--CONFERENCE 
                                 REPORT

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will now proceed to the consideration of the conference report 
to accompany H.R. 4310, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the 
     two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 
     4310) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for 
     military activities of the Department of Defense, for 
     military construction, and for defense activities of the 
     Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel 
     strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes, 
     having met, have agreed that the House recede from its 
     disagreement to the amendment of the Senate and agree to the 
     same with an amendment, and the Senate agree to the same, 
     signed by a majority of the conferees on the part of both 
     Houses.

  (The conference report is printed in the Record of December 18, 
2012.)
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, there 
will now be up to 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled 
between the two leaders or their designees prior to a vote on adoption 
of the conference report.
  The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, on behalf of the Senate Armed Services 
Committee, I am pleased to bring to the Senate, along with Senator 
McCain, the conference report on H.R. 4310, the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. This conference report, which 
was signed by all 26 Senate conferees, all the members of the Senate 
Armed Services Committee, contains many provisions that are of critical 
importance to our troops. This will be the 51st consecutive year in 
which a national defense authorization act will be enacted into law.
  I thank my dear friend Senator McCain, our ranking minority member, 
for all that he did to bring us to this conclusion and for the years of 
great leadership on our committee. I have been lucky to have Senator 
McCain as a partner. I know both of us are grateful to the chairman and 
the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon 
and Adam Smith, for their hard work on reconciling the many differences 
between the House and Senate bill and for helping to produce a solid 
bill to support the men and women of our Armed Forces.
  The conference report contains many important provisions that will 
improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform. It will 
provide needed support and assistance to our troops who are deployed. 
It will make the investments we need to meet the challenges of the 21st 
century.
  First and foremost, the bill authorizes a 1.7-percent across-the-
board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services, consistent 
with the President's request.
  The conference report contains strong additional sanctions on Iran. 
The Iran sanctions provisions will designate certain persons in Iran's 
energy, port, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors as entities of 
proliferation concern, subjecting many more transactions with such 
entities to sanctions. It will impose sanctions on persons selling or 
supplying or diverting to Iran a defined list of materials relevant to 
the aforementioned sectors, to certain Iranian specially designated 
nationals and blocked persons, or to be used in connection with certain 
Iranian military programs.
  It is going to impose sanctions on any insurance or reinsurance 
provider or underwriter that knowingly provides underwriting service, 
insurance, or reinsurance for activities for which sanctions have been 
imposed to any person in the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sector 
in Iran.
  It will designate the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and its 
president as human rights abusers for their broadcasting of forced 
confessions and show trials, blocking their assets and preventing other 
entities from doing business with them and banning any travel to the 
United States.
  The administration requested three modifications. In particular, one 
was additional time to implement the provision following enactment; the 
second was additional time between waiver renewals; and third was a 
modification of the exceptions clause from nondesignated Iranian 
``financial institutions'' in the Senate-passed version to a broader 
term that would have incorporated nondesignated Iranian ``persons.'' 
That conference report provides two of the three modifications--the 
additional time requested. It does not make a change in terms of the 
exceptions clause.
  The conference report contains a few provisions addressing detainee 
issues. These provisions extend existing limitations on the transfer or 
release of Gitmo detainees for another year. We did not adopt the 
permanent limitations in the House bill. We also provided new 
flexibility for dealing with detainees who cooperate with U.S. 
intelligence and law enforcement authorities pursuant to pretrial 
agreements.
  The report establishes new congressional notification requirements 
for military detainees held on naval vessels and for third-country 
nationals who are released from military detention in Afghanistan, but 
the report does not place any conditions or limitations on such 
transfers.
  The conference report does not include the Senate language regarding 
military detention inside the United States. The House conferees would 
simply not accept this provision. Instead, we included a provision that 
says and states the following:

       Nothing in the Authorization for Use of Military Force, 
     (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) or the National 
     Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 
     112-81) shall be construed to deny the availability of the 
     writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in 
     a court ordained or established by or under Article III of 
     the Constitution to any person inside the United States who 
     would be entitled to the availability of such writ or such 
     rights in the absence of such laws.

  The provision in the fiscal year 2012 act, which is referred to in 
the language I just read--it is already law--that section in the 2012 
act is section 1021. That section said the following:
  Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or 
authorities relating to the detention of

[[Page S8326]]

United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or 
any other persons who are captured or arrested inside the United 
States. The language in this conference report reflects my view that 
Congress did not restrict or deny anyone's Constitutional rights in 
either the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force or the Fiscal 
Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The Statement of Managers 
accompanying this conference report points out that ``constitutional 
rights may not be restricted or denied by statute.''
  On the Alternative Fuel provision, the conference report does not 
include a provision of the House-passed bill that would have prohibited 
fiscal year 2013 funding for the production or purchase of alternative 
fuel if the cost of producing or purchasing the alternative fuel 
exceeds the cost of traditional fossil fuel.
  The conference report does contain a provision that limits DOD's 
fiscal year 2013 Defense Production Act--DPA--funding for the 
construction of a biofuel refinery until--that is the key word--the DOD 
receives the promised contributions from the Departments of Energy and 
Agriculture for the same purpose. We do not limit Phase I of the DPA 
project, nor does the conference report limit the use of FY12 funds for 
biofuel refinery construction.
  On ``cyber,'' the conference report requires the Secretary of Defense 
to create a process requiring defense contractors that use or possess 
classified or sensitive DOD information to report successful cyber 
penetrations of their networks or information systems. Additionally, if 
the Department is concerned about a particular event and feels the need 
to determine what DOD information may have been lost from such 
penetration, the provision would authorize DOD to conduct its own 
forensic analysis, upon request, and subject to limitations.
  I know the Presiding Officer has a special interest in this area of 
cyber security. This provision in the Defense authorization bill 
represents a major breakthrough in the Nation's need to protect cyber--
our information systems and cyber security.
  There are a lot of other sensitive areas where we are threatened with 
cyber attacks, such as financial, police, transportation sectors, which 
obviously we could not touch; they are not within our jurisdiction. 
They need similar action.
  The conference report provides that the Secretary of Defense will 
evaluate, by the end of 2013, at least three possible future missile 
defense interceptor deployment locations in the United States--at least 
two of which would be on the East Coast--and then to prepare an 
environmental impact statement for the locations evaluated. It would 
also require the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to prepare a 
contingency plan for deployment of an additional interceptor site in 
case the President decides to proceed with such a deployment. However, 
it does not mandate or authorize deployment of any missile defense 
site, and does not require the Defense Department to submit a 
deployment plan to Congress.
  For Afghanistan, the conference report includes a sense of Congress 
in support of the President's plan for the transition of lead 
responsibility for security to the Afghan security forces in 2013 and 
the drawdown of most U.S. forces by no later than the end of 2014. 
Specifically, the sense of Congress provides in part that the President 
should seek to ``. . . take all possible steps to end such operations 
at the earliest possible date consistent with a safe and orderly draw 
down of United States troops in Afghanistan.''
  The conference report also calls for an independent assessment of the 
size and structure requirements of the Afghan National Security Forces 
necessary for those forces to be able to ensure that their country will 
not again serve as a safe-haven for terrorists that threaten 
Afghanistan, the region, and the world.
  On TRICARE, the conference report establishes modestly increased 
cost-sharing rates under the TRICARE pharmacy benefits program for 
fiscal year 2013 in statute, and in fiscal years 2014 through 2022, 
limits any annual increases in pharmacy copayments to increases in 
retiree cost of living adjustments. The Administration's proposal would 
have tripled beneficiary copayment rates over the next 10 years.
  The conference report also requires the Secretary of Defense to 
conduct a 5-year pilot program to refill prescription maintenance 
medications for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries through TRICARE's 
national mail-order pharmacy program, resulting in savings to the 
government of $1.1 billion over the next decade.
  Regarding Air Force force structure, the conferees adopted language 
establishing a commission, which would consist of eight members, four 
appointed by the President and four appointed by leadership of the 
Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives. The Commission would be required to report to the 
Congress by February 1, 2014, in time to inform congressional action on 
the fiscal year 2015 budget request, on an Air Force force structure 
that would, among other things, meet the current and anticipated 
requirement of the combatant commanders while achieving an appropriate 
balance between the regular and reserve components of the Air Force, 
taking advantage of the unique strengths and capabilities of each.
  The conference report would provide that during fiscal year 2013, the 
Air Force would be required to maintain the alternative force structure 
proposed by the Air Force on November 2, 2012, after Congress clearly 
indicated it would reject the original plan. We modified the November 
plan to add an additional 32 fixed-wing, intra-theater airlift aircraft 
(C-27s and/or C-130s) beyond the number proposed by the Secretary. This 
addition will help us provide sufficient aircraft to meet the Army's 
fixed-wing, direct support/time sensitive airlift mission requirements.
  Once again, I want to thank Senator McCain. As I said before, I have 
been honored, pleased, and lucky to have Senator McCain as my partner 
in leading the Armed Services Committee. I know how indebted we both 
are to our staffs as well as to all of the members who work so well 
together on a bipartisan basis.
  Our majority and minority staffs were led by Rick Debobes and Ann 
Sauer. They have done amazing work on this bill. They did a month's 
worth of work in weeks. They did a week's worth of work in days, and 
they did a day's worth of work in hours.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a full list of the 
majority and minority staff, who gave so much of themselves and their 
families, be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Richard D. DeBobes, Staff Director; Ann E. Sauer, Minority 
     Staff Director; Adam J. Barker, Professional Staff Member; 
     June M. Borawski, Printing and Documents Clerk; Leah C. 
     Brewer, Nominations and Hearings Clerk; Christian D. Brose, 
     Professional Staff Member; Joseph M. Bryan, Professional 
     Staff Member; Pablo E. Carrillo, Minority General Counsel; 
     Jonathan D. Clark, Counsel; Christine E. Cowart, Chief Clerk; 
     Lauren M. Davis, Minority Staff Assistant; Jonathan S. 
     Epstein, Counsel; Gabriella E. Fahrer, Counsel; Richard W. 
     Fieldhouse, Professional Staff Member; Lauren M. Gillis, 
     Staff Assistant; Creighton Greene, Professional Staff Member; 
     Ozge Guzelsu, Counsel; Gary J. Howard, Systems Administrator; 
     Paul C. Hutton IV, Professional Staff Member; Jennifer R. 
     Knowles, Staff Assistant; Michael J. Kuiken, Professional 
     Staff Member; Kathleen A. Kulenkampff, Staff Assistant; Mary 
     J. Kyle, Legislative Clerk; Gerald J. Leeling, Counsel.
       Daniel A. Lerner, Professional Staff Member; Peter K. 
     Levine, General Counsel; Gregory R. Lilly, Executive 
     Assistant for the Minority; Elizabeth C. Lopez, Research 
     Assistant; Jason W. Maroney, Counsel; Thomas K. McConnell, 
     Professional Staff Member; Mariah K. McNamara, Staff 
     Assistant; William G. P. Monahan, Counsel; Lucian L. 
     Niemeyer, Professional Staff Member; Michael J. Noblet, 
     Professional Staff Member; Bryan D. Parker, Minority 
     Investigative Counsel; Cindy Pearson, Assistant Chief Clerk 
     and Security Manager; Roy F. Phillips, Professional Staff 
     Member; John L. Principato, Staff Assistant; John H. Quirk V, 
     Professional Staff Member; Robie I. Samanta Roy, Professional 
     Staff; Member Brian F. Sebold, Staff Assistant; Russell L. 
     Shaffer, Counsel; Travis E. Smith, Special Assistant; William 
     K. Sutey, Professional Staff Member; Diana G. Tabler, 
     Professional Staff Member; Mary Louise Wagner, Professional 
     Staff Member; Barry C. Walker, Security Officer; Bradley S. 
     Watson, Staff Assistant.

  Mr. LEVIN. I would note that the committee's chief clerk Chris Cowert 
will be retiring at the end of this year after completing more than 41 
years on the committee staff. She has been a

[[Page S8327]]

driving force behind the staff support of the annual Defense 
Authorization Act, and she will be sorely missed.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I note the presence of the Senator from 
Kentucky on the floor. I understand he seeks recognition for 10 
minutes, and I ask that he be recognized at this time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to this bill because I 
believe it contains language that would allow American citizens to be 
detained without trial. The other side has argued that is not true, 
that they will be eligible for their constitutional rights if they get 
into an article III court or a constitutional court. But here is the 
rub: They have to be eligible. Who decides whether someone is eligible 
for the court? It is an arbitrary decision, and this is what this 
debate has been over. Don't let the wool be pulled over your eyes that 
everyone has protection and they will get a trial by jury if accused of 
a crime.
  We had protection in this bill. We passed an amendment that 
specifically said: If you are an American citizen or here legally in 
the country, you will get a trial by jury. It was explicitly stated and 
it has been removed in the conference committee. It has been removed 
because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial 
in our country. This is so fundamentally wrong and goes against 
everything we stand for as a country that it cannot go unnoticed and 
should be pointed out.
  Proponents of indefinite detention without trial say that an 
accusation alone is sufficient, that these crimes are so heinous that 
trials are unnecessary. They will show us pictures of foreigners in 
foreign dress from foreign lands and say that is what this debate is 
about. It is untrue. This debate is about American citizens accused of 
crimes in the United States.
  Make no mistake that the faces of terrorism include awful people who 
should be punished to the full extent of the law. The same portrait of 
evil could be drawn of domestic terrorists, domestic terror, and 
domestic violence. One could parade pictures of Charles Manson, Timothy 
McVeigh--the Oklahoma bomber--Jeffrey Dahmer, and people would cry out 
that they don't deserve a trial either. Most Americans understand at 
some level that when someone is accused of a crime in our country, they 
get a trial by a jury of their peers. No matter how heinous the crime 
is or how awful they are, we give them a trial. This bill takes away 
that right and says if someone thinks a person is dangerous, we will 
hold that person without a trial. It is an abomination. It should not 
stand. Most Americans understand that if someone is accused of a crime, 
it does not make them guilty of a crime. They will still get their day 
in court.
  Some here may not care when they determine that they are going to 
detain Ahmed or Yousef or Ibrahim. Many innocent Americans are named 
Ahmed or Yousef or Ibrahim. Many Americans are named Saul or David or 
Isaac. Is our memory so short that we don't understand the danger of 
allowing detention without trial? Is our memory so short that we don't 
understand the havoc that bias and bigotry can do when unrestrained by 
the law? Trial by jury is our last defense against tyranny and our last 
defense against oppression. We have locked up Arabs, Jews, and the 
Japanese.
  Do we not want to retain our right to trial by jury? Do we want to 
allow the whims of government to come forward and lock up whom they 
please without being tried? In our not-too-distant past Americans named 
Ozaki, Ichiro, or Yuki were indefinitely detained by the tens of 
thousands without trial or accusation. Will America only begin to 
regret our loss of trial by jury when the people have names such as 
Smith and Jones? Mark my words: This is about people named Smith and 
Jones or people named David, Saul, Isaac, Ahmed, Yousef, or Ibrahim. 
This is about all Americans and whether they will have due process and 
the protections of the law.
  We are told these people are so evil and so dangerous that we cannot 
allow trials. Trial by jury is who we are. Trial by jury is that 
shining beacon on a hill that people around the world wish to emulate. 
It is why people came here. It is why we are exceptional as a people. 
It is not the color of our skin; it is our ideas, it is the right to 
trial by jury that is looked to as a beacon of hope for people around 
the world, and we are willing to discard it out of fear. It is a shame 
to scrap the very rights that make us exceptional as a people.
  Proponents of indefinite detention will argue that we are a good 
people and we will never unjustly detain people. I don't dispute their 
intentions or impute bad motives to them, but what I will say is 
remember what Madison said. Madison said if a government were comprised 
of angels, we would not need the chains of the Constitution. We would 
not need to bind our representatives and restrain them from doing bad 
things to good people. If all men in government were angels, we would 
not need the rules. All men in the government are not angels now and 
never will be. There is always the danger that some day someone will be 
elected who will take the rights away from the Japanese, Jews, or 
Arabs. It happened once. We are told by these people who believe in 
indefinite detention that the battle is everywhere. If the battle is 
everywhere, our liberties are nowhere. If the battle is without end, 
when will they return our liberties? When will our rights be restored 
if the battle has no end and the battlefield is limitless and the war 
is endless? When will our rights be restored? It is not a temporary or 
limited suspension of our right to trial by jury but an unlimited, 
unbounded relinquishment of the right to trial by jury without length 
or duration.
  We are told that limiting the right to trial by jury is justified 
under the law of war. Am I the only one uncomfortable applying the law 
of war to American citizens accused of crimes in the United States? Is 
the law of war a euphemism for martial law? What is the law of war 
except for something to go around the Constitution? It is an 
extraordinary circumstance that might happen in a battlefield somewhere 
else but should not happen in the United States. Every American accused 
of a crime, no matter how heinous, should get their day in court and a 
trial by a jury of their peers. These are not idle questions.
  I believe the defense of the Bill of Rights trumps the concerns for 
speedy passage even of a bill which I generally support. Sixty-seven 
Senators voted just a few weeks ago to include a provision in this bill 
that says we have a right to a trial by jury. It was plucked out in 
secret in conference despite the wishes of two-thirds of the Senators 
in this body--Republican and Democrat--who were concerned about 
protecting the right to a jury trial.
  Many Senators say: Well, we tried and we lost. They outmaneuvered us; 
they were sneakier than we were. I disagree that we give up. I think 
the time is now. I think we make a statement. The fight is today. The 
subject is too dear. If a majority today were to stand and say: The 
right to trial by jury is important enough to delay the Defense 
authorization bill for 2 weeks, I think it would be an important 
message to send.
  So today I stand and urge a ``no'' vote on what I consider to be a 
travesty of justice.
  Thank you.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, the Senator from Kentucky is flat out 
wrong. There is no such language in the bill which denies the right to 
trial by jury. I think those are the same kinds of charges against last 
year's bill. We are trying to keep up with the false charges that the 
Senator makes, so we put language in this year's bill which says 
nothing in last year's bill does or could be implied to do any such 
thing as the Senator from Kentucky is charging. We have language in 
this year's bill and nothing from last year's bill. That was the same 
charge he made against last year's bill, shall be construed to deny the 
availability of the writ of habeas corpus or deny any constitutional 
rights in a court ordained or established under article III of the 
Constitution to any person inside the United States.
  Then he makes a totally outlandish charge that they were 
outmaneuvered and they were sneakier than we were. Where does that come 
from? What is the basis for that kind of a charge

[[Page S8328]]

against Senator McCain and me? We have put language in this bill which 
makes it absolutely clear that nothing we have adopted here in this 
Senate does anything like what the Senator from Kentucky said--denying 
the people the right to jury trial.
  I totally reject his argument. He does not quote any language in this 
bill that does what he says this bill does. The Senator from Kentucky 
actually started his statement by saying this bill has language which 
will deny a trial by jury. What language and what page? It makes the 
allegation and sort of lets it sit there. Well, it is flat out wrong.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I want to congratulate the authors and 
managers of the bill in the House with coming up with a very good bill 
for our military which will have pay raises and trying to increase our 
defenses.
  I don't mind saying that I think we are at war. I know the Presiding 
Officer believes that. How long does the war last? I don't know. I 
cannot tell anyone. Am I supposed to know that? Can we not fight it 
unless we know the date it ends? America, is it part of the 
battlefield? Tell me. Where do you think they want to hit us the most? 
What do you think al-Qaida would like to do more than anything else? 
They would like to come here and destroy the building I am speaking in. 
The only reason they cannot get here yet is because we are fighting 
them over there.
  We are gathering good intelligence. We are taking the war home to 
them. Our intelligence agencies, our FBI, our military, our CIA are all 
over the world tracking these crazy people so they cannot get here. So 
to suggest that I cannot tell when the war ends, therefore we have to 
turn it into a crime, is dangerous and absurd.
  Did they know when Germany, Berlin, or Tokyo was going to fall? What 
happened to the German saboteurs who landed in Long Island during World 
War II? They were captured by the FBI and turned over to the military. 
What happened to the American citizens who were helping the German 
saboteurs? They were held as enemy combatants.
  To my good friend from Kentucky, I don't doubt his passion or 
sincerity; I doubt his judgment on these issues.
  The Supreme Court has spoken three different times. Less than 6 or 7 
years ago an American citizen was caught helping the Taliban in 
Afghanistan and they said we could hold one of our own as an enemy 
combatant until the hostilities cease, and that is a hard time to 
figure out.
  Let's get this right. If an American citizen helping the Taliban in 
Afghanistan kills our soldiers, can be captured and held as an enemy 
combatant according to the Supreme Court, what kind of world would we 
live in if the al-Qaida collaborator American citizen attacked us here, 
trying to kill us in our own homeland, to say: That doesn't count. The 
American citizen is no longer at war because we are in America; we have 
to read them their rights and give them a lawyer and we can't hold them 
for military intelligence-gathering purposes.
  My good friend doesn't understand that in fighting a war, the goal is 
to win the war; it is to defeat the enemy. In fighting a crime, the 
goal is designed to hold somebody accountable for an illegal wrong. I 
have been a military lawyer for 30 years. He may not understand the law 
of war, but I do and the Supreme Court does. The Supreme Court has said 
in World War II and in this war, if an American citizen collaborates 
with the enemy, they will be given due process under the law of war. A 
Federal judge will hear the claim: I am wrongly held. I am not part of 
al-Qaida or the Taliban. That is the only time one could be held as an 
enemy combatant. In helping al-Qaida or the Taliban, one has to be 
involved in a plot or an act. If a Federal judge agrees with the 
government that, yes, in fact, there is evidence to suggest an American 
citizen is helping the Taliban or al-Qaida, I think most Americans 
would say it is reasonable to hold that person to find out what they 
know about this attack and future attacks.
  Can my colleagues imagine what would happen in this country if three 
people were running up the Capitol steps to blow up the Capitol and one 
of them survived who was an American citizen and we couldn't hold them 
and question them by asking: Where did you train? Is there any other 
attack planned? What do you know? Whom did you work with? That we would 
have to say, within hours or a day or two, here is your lawyer and you 
have a right to remain silent? Can we imagine what would have happened 
in World War II if the American citizens who helped the Nazis--if we 
turned that into a common crime.
  The difference between me and the Senator from Kentucky is that I 
believe with all my heart and soul that the al-Qaida, Taliban groups 
are at war with us and are trying to come to our homeland. I know they 
are trying to find American citizens who would help them, and they 
will. There has never been a war in America where somebody within the 
American citizen community did not collaborate with the enemy. That is 
happening today. When that day comes and we capture that person, I want 
as an option the ability to hold them as an enemy combatant, as we did 
in other wars. They will get their day in court, but they will not be 
read their rights or given a lawyer on the spot because that would stop 
intelligence gathering.
  To the managers of this bill, to the men and women of the House who 
sent it over here, thank God they chose a balance between due process 
and common sense.
  All I will say is that the way we found bin Laden was not through 
torture. I am offended by that, as are Senator McCain and Senator 
Levin. The way we tracked down bin Laden is we had people held at Gitmo 
for years under the law of war. We don't try them or let them go. When 
we capture somebody on the battlefield, we don't hold a trial; we hold 
the prisoner to try to gather intelligence and keep them off the 
battlefield. Through that process, over years, the Bush administration 
and the Obama administration put together the puzzle about bin Laden. 
It wasn't because of waterboarding; it was because this country had 
available to it the law of war detention that allows us to hold people 
and get to know them over time and make sure they could not go back to 
the fight and good questioning and good interrogation techniques led to 
finding bin Laden. What the Senator from Kentucky is saying is it would 
not be available to us as a nation if an American citizen were involved 
in attacking us on the homeland. What an absurd result, that if an 
American citizen joined al-Qaida to kill everybody in this room, for 
some unknown reason, we would turn that into a crime rather than an act 
of war.
  If a person collaborates with al-Qaida or the Taliban, two things can 
happen to them: They can get killed or they can get captured. Most 
likely they will get a trial one day and nobody is restricting their 
trial rights. What Senator Levin said is true. There is nothing in here 
restricting the right of trial. What is in here is giving us the option 
to hold someone as an enemy combatant so we don't have to Mirandize 
them and turn an act of war into a crime.
  I am afraid it will not be long before this is tested in reality. The 
enemy is afoot. They are trying to penetrate our homeland. They are 
seeking aid and comfort from Americans within our own country who are 
going to side with the enemy, unfortunately. When that day comes, I 
wish to make sure we have the ability in this war, as in every other 
war, to hold them and to gather intelligence--not to torture them but 
to make sure we are safe as a nation. Due process, yes. Under the law 
of war, it must be so. If we turn this war into a crime, we are going 
to regret it. If my colleagues don't believe we are at war, then I 
cannot disagree more. I cannot tell my colleagues when the war ends, 
but I will tell them how it ends. This is how it is going to end: We 
are going to win and they are going to lose because we can't afford to 
lose.
  Between now and when that day comes, we are going to take the fight 
to them. If we find an American citizen helping the enemy overseas--
this President ordered the killing by drone of al-Awlaki, an American 
citizen overseas--I believe it was Yemen--and the President said: I 
have ample evidence he is now assisting al-Qaida overseas to attack 
American targets and I am going to take him out. Well done, Mr. 
President. Well done, Mr. President.

[[Page S8329]]

  If most of us agree we can kill an American citizen helping al-Qaida 
kill us overseas, we can't capture an American citizen helping al-Qaida 
here at home and hold him for questioning under the law of war, what an 
absurd result.
  I not only am going to vote for this bill, I am going to celebrate 
the fact we have done nothing to stop the right to trial. As Senator 
Levin said, there is not one thing in this bill that restricts a 
person's right to a trial. What we do have in this bill is the 
recognition we are at war and we retain as an option that has not been 
used--there is no American citizen in detention--but there may be a 
need for that one day and we retain that right under this bill.
  Mr. McCAIN. Will the Senator yield for a question, briefly?
  Mr. GRAHAM. Sure.
  Mr. McCAIN. Under the scenario as envisioned by the argument made by 
the Senator from Kentucky that if an American citizen is overseas, as 
al-Awlaki was in Yemen, and we took a drone and killed him, which was a 
decision made by the President of the United States----
  Mr. GRAHAM. Good decision, Mr. President.
  Mr. McCAIN. But if al-Awlaki had been in the United States of 
America, a citizen engaged in the same activities that justified him 
being killed, then Mr. al-Awlaki would have been entitled to his 
Miranda rights, a trial by jury, habeas corpus, all that as if he were 
treated as an American citizen. I don't think many people would quite 
understand that distinction of geography.

  Mr. GRAHAM. It makes no sense, I say to the Senator. He would be 
entitled to a habeas hearing if he were caught in the United States, 
but he would be held under the law of war because the allegation is not 
that he was committing a crime but that he was collaborating with the 
enemy.
  So, yes, we could have a scenario, according to the view of the 
Senator from Kentucky, that we could kill somebody--an American citizen 
overseas helping the enemy kill our troops--but if they joined with al-
Qaida here at home, all of a sudden we have to give them a lawyer and 
read them their rights and we can't hold them under the law of war 
detention to find out what they know about an impending attack. That 
makes absolutely no sense. The Supreme Court has rejected that kind of 
thinking.
  I hope that day never comes, but I can tell my colleagues this: I 
don't know when the war is over, he is right about that, but I know 
this: As long as I am in the Senate, we are going to fight it and we 
are going to fight it as a war, not a crime.
  Mr. McCAIN. If the Senator will yield further, there is every 
indication in the Middle East and around the world that we see that al-
Qaida is on the way back, far from being defeated.
  I just wish to make an additional comment to my friend, Senator 
Levin, the chairman, whom I have had the honor of bringing these bills 
to the floor with and working together with for 25 years. I was tempted 
to leave it unresponded to, but a statement the Senator from Kentucky 
made: They were sneakier than we were--I have to say to the chairman, I 
don't think the chairman has ever conducted our committee and our 
deliberations and our work on the floor and in conference in any way as 
being sneaky. I categorically reject that kind of comment, and I don't 
think it is worthy of the performance the Senator from Michigan has 
provided to this committee.
  Mr. LEVIN. I very much thank my dear friend from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. I thank the Presiding Officer. The only one thing I will 
add to this subject before we vote--the Senator from Arkansas seeks to 
speak and we will run out of time soon--is that a provision which is in 
our bill, which both the ranking member and myself voted for, which was 
stricken, one of the arguments against it was made by the ACLU. Our 
friend from Kentucky talks about something in this bill which denies 
the right to jury trial and the proof he gives for that is something 
that is not in the bill, which is--it violates logic, to begin with, 
but putting that aside--one of the arguments against keeping it in the 
bill was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and surely they 
believe people's rights to trial and jury trial should not be denied.
  So the allegations made by the Senator from Kentucky are wrong. There 
is absolutely no substantiation for them, including the one which was 
just referred to by Senator McCain. But the statement he makes that 
there is language in this bill--here is the bill. Where is the Senator 
from Kentucky? What page of the bill is he referring to that contains 
the language he says denies people the right to trial? It is simply not 
there.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I will try to keep my remarks to about 5 
minutes, although I would first like to thank Senators Levin and McCain 
for their leadership on this legislation. They truly set the tone, and 
they have been good role models for the entire Senate on how 
legislation should be conducted. So I wish to thank both of them. I 
think many of my colleagues feel the very same way; that we appreciate 
how they have handled the national defense authorization bill. It has 
been a massive undertaking and sometimes, as we know, we have a lot of 
gridlock around here, but because of the way they have handled it, they 
have been able to get this bill to this point.
  I am not going to object to this bill at all. At one point I thought 
about it because I am so upset--in fact, my staff has even said livid, 
and I have been livid--about how one item has been handled by the Air 
Force; that is, as we all know, about 10 months ago the Air Force came 
out with a proposed force restructure and that included taking an A-10 
unit away from the Arkansas National Guard that is based in Fort Smith, 
AR.
  Understandably, when something such as that happens, we have 
questions. So, 10 months ago, I started asking: Why are you doing this? 
Give me your analysis. Tell me how much money you are going to save. 
Are you aware you have Fort Chaffee right off the end of the runway--
and I will talk about this in just a minute. Are you aware that this 
just went through BRAC, that they had F-16s there and now they have A-
10s, and the BRAC commission has gone through this process and they 
said this is the best place; we can have A-10s right here in Fort 
Smith, AR.
  So we basically got stonewalled. They wouldn't tell us any of their 
analysis. They wouldn't tell us how much it is costing or saving. They 
basically stonewalled not just my office but the whole Congress, as far 
as I know. I have talked to people all over this place on the Senate 
side and the House side. They never got any numbers. Finally, just in 
the last few weeks, in talking to members of the Air Force who have 
stars on their shoulders, they have told me there was no business 
analysis. There was no base-by-base analysis. Basically, what this 
boils down to is we need to make some cuts and more or less your number 
came up, and they go back to the one flying mission per State. We can 
talk about that more if we want to.
  But the problem is we are in a budget environment where we are having 
downward pressure on military spending, and we know that. We are going 
to have to make military cuts not just this year but in the outyears. 
There is no doubt about it. The U.S. Air Force should always count the 
cost. They should always make a determination on how much these things 
cost and how much they save. They did not do that here.

  They should also know we are going to have a smaller force in the 
future. So as we wean out some units--and it is going to happen; it is 
going to be painful; people are not going to like it--you should keep 
the best units you have, the strongest units you have. And the 188th at 
Fort Smith, AR, is the best unit in the system. I say that objectively 
because there are numbers to back that up. It is the cheapest to 
operate. Even though it went through the transition from F-16s to A-10s 
just a few years ago, they have already deployed twice. They have 
deployed twice. One reason they got extended in a deployment was 
because another A-10 unit was not ready.
  What this does is it puts those pilots--those men and women in 
uniform, who just got back from Afghanistan--

[[Page S8330]]

they get off the plane, they are being hugged by their spouses and 
their children and their communities, and basically the Air Force is 
giving them a pink slip.
  The ultimate slap in the face happened this week when the National 
Guard Bureau had the audacity to contact the 188th Flying Wing at Fort 
Smith and say: Hey, by the way, could you deploy one more time? There 
is another unit that is not ready. Can you deploy one more time? It is 
astonishing that the Air Force would do this.
  We had a commission in there. The commission did not survive. I have 
talked about that with several of my colleagues who were on the 
conference. Even though this wing has had more nautical miles of 
military training than any other unit in the Air National Guard, even 
though it is closer in proximity to its flying range, its bombing range 
than any other unit--it is the best setup in all of North America to 
have the 188th where it is located at Fort Smith and at Fort Chaffee, 
which is basically the Army National Guard's national training center 
right there--they love to train with A-10s; we are talking about close 
air support vehicles here--I do not think the Air Force took that into 
consideration for 1 minute. I think they made an arbitrary decision 
here. I do not think it is in our national interests. I do not think it 
is in the interests of our national security. I am putting people on 
notice that this fight is not over. I understand about the down 
pressure. I get all that stuff. But this fight is not over. I am not 
going to object to this bill today. I am going to vote for its 
adoption.
  Again, I want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their 
great leadership.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Blumenthal). The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Arkansas for his 
enormous contributions to the deliberations and work of our committee. 
I understand the frustration he feels, and we have promised, as Senator 
Levin and I have promised a number of Members on both sides of the 
Capitol, we will have extensive hearings on this whole issue of Guard-
Air Force relationships and force structure for the 21st century. We 
appreciate his commitment to his outstanding members of the Guard.
  Mr. President, I rise to support the fiscal year 2013 National 
Defense Authorization Act conference report. This will be the 51st 
consecutive year the Congress will pass legislation authorizing the 
budget of the Department of Defense and supporting our men and women in 
uniform.
  I thank the members of the Armed Services Committee for their hard 
work, especially my colleague and friend, Senator Carl Levin. Carl and 
I have worked together for many years on this committee, the last 6 as 
chairman and ranking member. In that time, Carl has demonstrated a 
thoughtful approach to defense oversight and legislating. His genial 
disposition--which I believe complements my own temperament well--masks 
resolute support for a strong national defense and a tenacious will 
ensure that defense dollars are wisely spent. Carl, you are a trusted 
partner and a patriot.
  This conference report is the product of 10 months of legislative 
effort, including 53 hearings on the full range of national security 
priorities. After marking up the President's defense budget request in 
May, the committee unanimously reported a bill to the Senate on June 4. 
Six months to the day later, the full Senate passed the bill 98 to 0. 
In a hopeful sign of the return of regular order to the Chamber, we 
passed the bill after 33 hours of debate and an open process that 
resulted in 397 amendments filed, of which 143 were included in the 
Senate-passed bill.
  Our use of an open amendment process on the Senate floor demonstrated 
that when it comes to addressing national defense, the Senate can still 
work together in a bipartisan manner. However, before we engage in too 
much self-congratulation, we should ask ourselves why we are concluding 
the most important annual authorization bill 3 months after the fiscal 
year began, and why we have yet to enact a single appropriations bill 
for any Department or agency of government. The Congress has been 
caught in so many political impasses of late that we have effectively 
abrogated our responsibility to provide for the timely authorization 
and appropriation of Federal programs. The result is increased cost, 
decreased efficiency, and our willful enabling of dysfunction in 
government. We can and must do better.
  The Defense authorization conference report before the Senate 
provides for the continued readiness of our Armed Forces and the well-
being of servicemembers and their families. It authorizes pay and 
benefits, research and development, weapons procurement, and military 
construction projects, and contains provisions designed to improve 
acquisition and contracting. It also provides the resources, training, 
equipment, and authorities necessary for our military to continue 
supporting the Afghanistan National Security Forces as they assume 
increased responsibility throughout Afghanistan.
  This conference report also contains tough sanctions aimed at curbing 
Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Iran continues its reckless ways in 
pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Just recently, the IAEA confirmed that 
Iran is expected to double the number of centrifuges at its underground 
enrichment site to 1,400. One provision in this report, originally 
sponsored by Senators Kirk and Menendez, designates Iran's energy, 
shipping, and ship-building sectors as entities of proliferation 
concern, subjecting many transactions with these entities to sanction. 
It would impose sanctions on persons supplying to Iran certain listed 
materials relevant to these sectors, to certain Iranian Specially 
Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, or to be used in connection 
with certain Iranian military programs. Finally, it would designate the 
Iranian state broadcasting company as a human rights abuser for airing 
forced confessions and show trials; preventing other entities from 
doing business with it; and banning any travel to the United States.
  This conference report also contains a provision that authorizes an 
increase of up to 1,000 marines for the Marine Corps Embassy Security 
Group. The tragic events in Benghazi on September 11 demonstrate that 
the security environment facing our diplomatic corps is as dangerous as 
ever. This provision will provide for the end-strength and resources 
necessary to support an increase in Marine Corps security at locations 
identified by the Secretary of State to be at risk of terrorist attack. 
Such an increase was also recommended by the Accountability Review 
Board--the independent panel convened by Secretary Clinton to 
investigate the events surrounding the Benghazi attack.
  The murder of innocents continues in Syria, with over 40,000 people 
murdered by the Assad regime. This conference report contains a 
provision that requires the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to 
submit a comprehensive report identifying the limited military 
activities that could deny or degrade the ability of the Assad regime 
to use air power against civilians and opposition groups. This 
provision explicitly notes that it neither authorizes the use of 
military force nor serves as a declaration of war against Syria.
  In the area of military personnel, the conference report provides a 
1.7-percent pay raise for servicemembers, and over 30 types of 
incentives aimed at strengthening enlistment and retention programs. It 
reinforces Department of Defense programs to prevent sexual assault and 
will improve the care and management of wounded warriors and those 
transitioning to civilian life after military service.
  The report also recognizes that, in an era of fiscal austerity, the 
Department of Defense must reduce costs wherever possible, including 
force structure by, for example, approving nearly all of the fiscal 
year 2013 increment of the President's proposed reduction of 123,900 
military personnel over the next 5 years. But it also requires a 
similar reduction in civilian and contractor personnel over that same 
time period.
  In addition, the report acknowledges a revised plan by the Air Force 
to reduce its force structure and retire or divest military aircraft in 
order to respond to defense budget cuts proposed by the administration. 
While my State of Arizona fared better than many States, the Air 
Force's plan includes a cost-saving proposal to convert the manning of 
an A-10 Warthog training

[[Page S8331]]

squadron based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson from the 
active component to the Reserve, resulting in a decrease of 
approximately 130 personnel assigned to the base. I support the need 
for the military services to find ways to reduce costs and realize that 
we all will have to bear the burden of the impact of reduced defense 
spending.
  Despite modest improvements in recent defense acquisitions, the 
Department has much work to do to improve its ability to identify and 
reduce waste. This conference report contains a number of provisions 
intended to improve oversight on defense contracting, including helping 
to detect and prevent human trafficking in government contracting. 
There are also provisions that would help ensure that the Department 
becomes fully auditable by 2017, as required under law, while improving 
procurement of the business systems it needs to become auditable. Other 
provisions help reform how the Federal Government conducts procurement 
during contingency operations and help ensure that certain 
whistleblowers who identify waste, fraud, and abuse are protected. The 
conference report also increases transparency into shipbuilding 
programs, including Ford Class aircraft carriers and Littoral Combat 
Ships.
  Another important provision in this report addresses cybersecurity, 
by requiring consultation with Congress if a decision is made to 
establish U.S. Cyber Command as a unified command and that defense 
contractors notify the Department of Defense of any network intrusions.
  Still another provision in the report requires that, following a 
decision by the President to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff submit to Congress his assessment 
of the risk of that force reduction to our mission and security 
interests.
  This report also requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to 
Congress a report on the investment plan and resources needed to carry 
out the U.S. strategy in Asia. I remain uncertain that the Department's 
plan for the realignment of U.S. military forces in the Asia Pacific 
Region is adequately supported by budgets and resources in future 
years. The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a 
report in August 2012 that raised concerns about whether the plans and 
strategy proposed by the Department earlier this year are adequately 
supported by budgets and resources in future years.
  Another provision helps protect the Navy's rich tradition of vessel 
naming. The name the Navy selects for a vessel should not be tarnished 
in any way by controversy. Unfortunately, controversy has surrounded 
some of the Navy's recent vessel-naming choices. This bill, therefore, 
sets forth appropriate and necessary standards, grounded in historical 
practice, to guide the Secretary of the Navy's decisions on future 
vessel naming, and requires that the Secretary seek the approval of the 
congressional defense committees before announcing or assigning a 
vessel's name.
  A particularly important provision gives priority to the Forest 
Service and Coast Guard to acquire surplus Air Force aircraft, allowing 
the Forest Service to strengthen its fire suppression capability.
  This conference report also directs the Secretary of Defense to 
designate assignment of military officers as instructors on the faculty 
of West Point, the Naval Academy or the Air Force Academy as the 
equivalent of a joint duty assignment to satisfy joint duty 
requirements.
  Finally, this report extends for another year important prohibitions 
and restrictions on the transfer and release of military detainees from 
Guantanamo, and the construction or modification of facilities in the 
U.S. to house them. It also establishes congressional notification 
requirements for military detainees held on naval vessels and for the 
release of third-country nationals held in military detention in 
Afghanistan. In addition, it clearly affirms that nothing in last 
year's defense authorization bill or the 2001 Authorization for Use of 
Military Force restricts or denies a person's existing habeas corpus 
rights or any other constitutional right.
  As we look forward to Christmas, I remind my fellow Members to 
remember the beneficiaries of this legislation--the men and women of 
our Armed Forces, who serve our Nation bravely and selflessly. Passing 
this conference report is the very least we can do for so many who are 
willing to give all they have to defend our Nation.
  I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the conference report of the 
Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
  Finally, I would like to thank the ``small but mighty'' Senate Armed 
Services Committee Republican staff, who have worked tirelessly and 
effectively in support of me and our members. These loyal staff 
members, many of whom have served on the committee staff for many 
years, deserve our sincere appreciation for their dedication to 
national security. They are Adam Barker, Pablo Carrillo, Chris Brose, 
Lauren Davis, Church Hutton, Daniel Lerner, Greg Lilly, Elizabeth 
Lopez, Lucian Niemeyer, Bryan Parker, Ann Elise Sauer, and Diana 
Tabler.
  Mr. President, again, with great reluctance, I thank our staff who 
have done such a wonderful job. They really have done great. As I say, 
I am very reluctant to admit it, but we could not have gotten here 
without their hard work on both sides of the aisle.


                           Alternative Fuels

  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask to be recognized for the purposes 
of a colloquy.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Senator Levin and Senator Hagan are here today to talk 
about the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes funds 
for our troops. This is an important piece of legislation and I have 
always supported making sure that our military has the equipment, 
resources and effective policies it needs to perform its missions.
  Mr. President, during floor consideration of the defense 
authorization bill, the Senate took two important votes regarding 
alternative fuels, signifying that we stood with our military leaders. 
We eliminated two provisions that would have severely limited the 
Department of Defense's ability to invest in alternative fuels.
  Both votes were bipartisan, and my friend and colleague Senator Hagan 
sponsored one of those amendments. I commend Senator Hagan's leadership 
and her hard work on this issue.
  Mrs. HAGAN. I thank Senator Murray. I was proud to stand with my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support efforts across the 
federal government that will help provide our military with the 
strategic advantages it needs to remain atop the world's powers.
  A critical component to achieving this goal is to ensure that the 
Department of Defense is not solely dependent on one fuel source.
  Mr. President, the Department of Defense is committed to addressing 
this critical national security risk, and is taking a joint approach to 
do so. In August 2011, the Secretaries of the Departments of 
Agriculture, Energy, and Navy signed a memorandum of understanding to 
invest $170 million each to spur the production of advanced aviation 
and marine biofuels under the Defense Production Act.
  This joint MOU also requires substantial investment from the private 
sector, with at least a 1-to-1 match.
  Our senior military leaders understand that programs such as this MOU 
are critical to national security. In July, the Secretary of the Navy, 
the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Marine Corps Commandant 
expressed their concern to Chairman Levin:

       ``The demand for fuel in theater means we depend on 
     vulnerable supply lines, the protection of which puts lives 
     at risk. Our potential adversaries both on land and at sea 
     understand this critical vulnerability and seek to exploit 
     it.''

  Given the importance of this MOU to our national security, I was 
disappointed when an amendment was adopted by one vote during the 
Senate Armed Services Committee mark-up that would prevent the Navy 
from participating further in the MOU. When the bill was considered on 
the Senate floor, I, along with a group of my colleagues, offered an 
amendment to strike this provision.
  Mr. President, I was pleased when my amendment passed in a bipartisan 
manner with 54 votes. I believe it sent an important message to 
conferees.

[[Page S8332]]

  However, I was very disappointed to see that although the conference 
report does not prohibit further involvement in the MOU by DOD, it does 
restrict the Department's participation in construction of alternative 
fuel refineries until the other agencies contribute matching funds.
  However, I have been assured by Chairman Levin that the conference 
committee intends for this restriction to only apply to fiscal year 
2013 funds. It would not constrain fiscal year 2012 funds in any way. I 
ask Chairman Levin, is that correct?
  Mr. LEVIN. Yes, that is correct. The language does not apply to 
fiscal year 2012 funds. We should all expect the agencies involved to 
adhere to the framework set forth in last year's memorandum of 
understanding.
  Mrs. HAGAN. I thank Chairman Levin. I appreciate his continued 
support on this issue. Ensuring that our military leaders have the 
flexibility they need to invest in alternative fuels is important to 
our national security. I look forward to continuing to work with the 
Chairman on this important issue.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I appreciate the hard work of the 
chairman, Senator Levin, and the ranking member, Senator McCain, on the 
fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act conference 
agreement this whole year.
  They have crafted reasonable, responsible compromises in many areas 
of defense policy. I appreciate that the conferees were able to begin 
rebalancing our force even as we continue to wind down our presence in 
Afghanistan.
  The men and women in uniform, as well as their families, appreciate 
that even in this tough fiscal environment the bill would authorize a 
1.7 percent across-the-board pay raise.
  I also want to acknowledge that Conferees retained my amendment 
implementing visa bans and asset freezes against those supporting the 
M23 rebels in Congo.
  But there are also several deeply troubling provisions that I must 
point out. The first issue goes to fundamental questions about basic 
constitutional protections. Last year I voted against the Defense 
Authorization bill because the bill included several troubling 
provisions relating to the treatment and custody of detainees. These 
provisions make it harder for the government to fight terrorism and are 
inconsistent with America's commitment to our Constitution and 
fundamental human rights.
  This legislation--for the first time in American history--requires 
the military to take custody of detainees in the United States.
  FBI Director Robert Mueller strongly objected to this military 
custody requirement. In a letter to the Senate last year, Director 
Mueller said the bill would, quote, ``inhibit our ability to convince 
covered arrestees to cooperate immediately, and provide critical 
intelligence.''
  Director Mueller concluded that this provision ``introduces a 
substantial element of uncertainty as to what procedures are to be 
followed in the course of a terrorism investigation in the United 
States.''
  Last year's bill also included a provision that could be interpreted 
to authorize the indefinite detention--without charge or trial--of 
American citizens in the United States.
  And the bill included restrictions that would make it virtually 
impossible to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which our most 
senior defense and intelligence officials have told us is a recruitment 
tool for Al Qaeda.
  I was hopeful that this year the Defense Authorization bill would 
undo some of the damage done by last year's bill. Unfortunately, that 
is not the case.
  I am troubled that the conference report does not include the 
Feinstein-Paul amendment, which passed the Senate by a strong 
bipartisan vote of 67-29.
  This amendment would have prohibited the indefinite detention of 
American citizens and lawful permanent residents apprehended in the 
U.S. unless this detention is expressly authorized by Congress.
  This amendment would have made it clear that last year's Defense 
Authorization bill--as well as the authorization to use military force 
that Congress passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks--did not 
authorize indefinite detention of Americans in the United States.
  This is a commonsense amendment that is consistent with our 
Constitution and fundamental human rights. Indeed, the Fifth Amendment 
of the Constitution provides simply that ``no person shall be deprived 
of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.''
  But the conference report struck the Feinstein-Paul amendment. 
Instead, the conference report includes a provision stating that the 
use of force authorization and last year's Defense Authorization bill 
should not be construed to deny the right to challenge their detention 
in court--the legal term is habeas corpus--to individuals detained in 
the U.S. who would otherwise have this right.
  This provision is essentially meaningless. The Supreme Court has 
already held that anyone in the custody of our government has the right 
to habeas corpus.
  This provision would not prohibit long-term detention of American 
citizens without trial. Without the Feinstein-Paul amendment, it 
remains unclear whether indefinite detention is permitted.
  I also continue to oppose provisions in the conference report that 
limit the administration's ability to close the Guantanamo Bay 
detention facility.
  Like last year's Defense Authorization bill, this legislation 
provides that no detainee held at Guantanamo Bay can be transferred to 
the United States, even for the purpose of holding him for the rest of 
his life in a federal super-maximum security facility.
  And like last year's bill, this legislation provides that the 
government may not construct or modify any facility in the United 
States for the purpose of holding a Guantanamo Bay detainee.
  The Obama administration has threatened to veto the conference report 
because of these provisions. Here is what the administration says: 
``Since these restrictions have been on the books, they have limited 
the Executive's ability to manage military operations in an ongoing 
armed conflict, harmed the country's diplomatic relations with allies 
and counterterrorism partners, and provided no benefit whatsoever to 
our national security.''
  I agree. I continue to believe that closing Guantanamo is an 
important national security priority for our Nation.
  And I am joined by many national security and military leaders, who 
say that closing Guantanamo will make us safer. Among them: General 
Colin Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 
Secretary of State; Former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker, 
Henry Kissinger, and Condoleezza Rice; Former Defense Secretary Robert 
Gates; Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff; and dozens of other retired admirals and generals.
  Retired Admiral Don Guter was the Navy Judge Advocate General at the 
Pentagon on 9/11. Listen to what he said just a few weeks ago: ``I want 
justice. But Guantanamo has not provided that justice and has not made 
us safer. . . . Guantanamo remains a recruiting tool for terrorists and 
will remain so until that prison is shuttered.''
  I also received a letter from dozens of human rights and religious 
organizations pointing out that many people around the world view 
Guantanamo as a symbol of America's retreat from our traditional role 
as a human-rights champion.
  These detainee provisions are not just bad human rights and national 
security policy. They are completely unnecessary. Look at the track 
record. Since 9/11, our counterterrorism professionals have prevented 
another terrorist attack in the United States.
  And more than 400 terrorists have successfully been prosecuted and 
convicted in federal court and are now being safely held in federal 
prisons. A few of the terrorists who have been convicted in federal 
court and are serving long prison sentences: Umar Faruk Abulmutallab, 
the Underwear Bomber; Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 WTC 
bombing; Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheikh; 20th 9/11 
hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui; and Richard Reid, the Shoe Bomber.
  Unfortunately, the provisions in this conference report limit the 
flexibility

[[Page S8333]]

of the administration to respond to terrorism in the most effective 
way. And they do so in a way that calls into question our commitment to 
our Constitution and human rights.
  I am also concerned with the message this conference report sends to 
the millions of Americans who feel strongly that our gun laws need to 
be reformed after the mass murder in Newtown, CT.
  Over the last few years, Congress has considered and passed a steady 
stream of legislation that has weakened the gun laws on the books.
  For example, Congress passed a law to end the Reagan-era ban on 
loaded guns in National Parks; passed a law to require Amtrak to allow 
guns to be transported on their trains even though Amtrak determined 
after 9/11 that this was too risky; and passed a number of 
appropriations riders that made it harder for law enforcement agencies 
to enforce gun laws. I opposed these efforts, but they became law.
  Things need to be different now. The growing toll of daily shootings 
in communities across the nation and the murder of twenty children at 
Sandy Hook Elementary School have caused Americans to say enough with 
the constant efforts to roll back gun laws.
  It's time for a new conversation on how to best protect America's 
children from gun violence. That conversation is now underway with the 
Vice President's task force.
  Unfortunately, this conference report contains a provision that yet 
again weakens gun laws currently on the books. It grants Federal 
concealed carry privileges to thousands of individuals even though the 
laws of my State and other States may not permit these individuals to 
carry concealed weapons.
  While this provision was added before the Newtown tragedy, and while 
there may be legitimate reasons behind it, I am troubled that this is 
the first gun-related legislation that Congress will pass after the 
Newtown shooting.
  I would much prefer that Congress's first response to Newtown be a 
more balanced approach that reflects the recommendations of the Vice 
President's task force. Congress should not continue voting to weaken 
gun laws while the Vice President's task force is doing its work.
  There is another issue in this conference agreement that is very 
troubling, and that concerns the Navy's energy requirements for the 
future. The Department of Defense is an enormous consumer of energy, 
especially fuel for the Navy's global fleet. Every time the price of a 
barrel of oil increases by $1, the Navy's total fuel costs increase by 
$31 million.
  For our men and women in uniform, energy policy is about security and 
budgets. That's why Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is focused on 
shifting Navy's energy consumption to fifty percent renewable fuels by 
2020.
  But the Defense Department's goal is compromised with this conference 
report.
  We voted here in the Senate, on an amendment I was proud to co-
sponsor, to ensure that the military has all the tools it needs to 
invest in technologies that will reduce fuel costs and enhance 
strategic capabilities.
  I was glad to see that the conference committee preserved the Navy's 
full ability to buy biofuels in the future. But then the conferees 
adopted provisions that undermine that goal.
  One provision will effectively end a joint project between the 
Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Department of 
Agriculture to build a refinery for biofuels.
  It is unfortunate that this language was included in the conference 
report because this provision was not originally included in the House- 
or Senate-passed versions of the bill.
  In fact, Senator Hagan sponsored an amendment, which I co-sponsored, 
that specifically removed a similar provision from the bill. Senator 
Hagan's amendment was adopted on the Senate floor by a vote of 54 to 
41.
  And as the House-passed defense bill also supported the joint 
project, it was surprising to see that the conference committee added a 
new provision to severely limit the biofuels partnership.
  This new provision is in direct opposition to the bills supported by 
a majority of Members in both chambers and I am disappointed to see 
that the conference committee went against the wishes of the Senate and 
included it.
  Finally, I must also mention the bill's impact on my home state of 
Illinois on a particular issue. I appreciate Chairman Levin and Ranking 
Member McCain working with the Illinois and Iowa delegation on a 
bipartisan basis to require an Army plan to sustain Rock Island 
Arsenal, and all the other aspects of our nation's organic industrial 
base. Prior Army planning had not included long-term workload plans to 
sustain the arsenals. I look forward to working with the Committee and 
the Army as this is implemented next year.
  This development notwithstanding, I am concerned about a provision in 
the bill retained in conference that could require arbitrary cuts to 
the civilian workforce not supported by the Department's strategy. I 
co-sponsored Senator Cardin's amendment to repeal this provision, which 
unfortunately did not pass on the Senate floor. The House version 
contained no similar provision and conferees kept much of the original 
language. I will continue to work with the Defense Department and the 
Committee to ensure that the flexibility in this provision is used to 
ensure strategy-driven planning for the civilian workforce.
  As I stated up front, the conference report makes a number of 
critical, responsible decisions that provide our men and women in 
uniform with the resources and policy authorities they need to provide 
for our common defense.
  Nonetheless, its fundamental weaknesses in detainee policy and other 
areas mean that I am regretfully unable to support passage of the 
conference report.
  Mr. LEAHY. On November 28, 2012, the Senate overwhelmingly passed my 
legislation, the Dale Long Public Safety Officers Benefits Improvement 
Act of 2012 as an amendment to the bill the Senate will likely pass 
today, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
  At that time, by a margin of 85 to 11, the Senate sent a strong 
message of support to the men and women across America who serve their 
fellow citizens as public safety officers. The Senate made clear that 
this important policy, in place since 1976, is worthy of our continued 
attention and our efforts to make it better for those it is intended to 
benefit. I thank the 85 Senators who voted in favor of my amendment on 
November 28, and for standing with first responders across the United 
States.
  As the Senate gives its consideration to final approval of the 
National Defense Authorization Act, I want to take a few moments to 
discuss what my amendment contains, and the intent behind the various 
provisions within it. Before I do, however, in light of the terrible 
tragedy in Newtown, CT that occurred on December 14, let me take a 
moment to recognize the first responders of Newtown and all who 
answered the call on that terrible day. In the midst of such incredible 
sadness, let us recognize the men and women who answered that call, who 
put the well-being of schoolchildren, teachers, and staff ahead of 
their own safety and entered that school to face the unknown and do 
whatever they could to help. And let us recognize those who stood 
bravely to render medical aid and give comfort to others amidst 
unspeakable violence and sorrow.
  In recent days, a quote by the late children's educator and minister 
Fred Rogers has been shared widely among Americans searching for some 
light within the darkness of what occurred in Newtown. In the 
quotation, he recalls how in the face of something frightening, his 
mother used to tell him, ``Look for the helpers. You will always find 
people who are helping''. He said then that he was comforted ``by 
realizing that there are still so many helpers--so many caring people 
in the world.'' His words exemplify our nation's first responders. I 
know that this tragedy affects them just as deeply as it affects all of 
us and in some ways that are difficult for us to fully understand. But 
the dedication and bravery of these men and women is something that I 
want to acknowledge and commend. It is their determination and the 
actions of first responders across the country every day that serve as 
the foundation and inspiration for the Federal policy we strengthen for 
them today.
  The centerpiece of my amendment to the National Defense Authorization 
Act is a measure to fill a gap in the

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Public Safety Officers Benefits, PSOB, law, which was exposed following 
the tragic death of a decorated emergency medical technician who served 
the community of Bennington, VT. Dale Long was killed in the line of 
duty in a traffic accident while responding to an emergency call. When 
his surviving family members looked in to filing a claim with the PSOB 
office at the Justice Department, they learned that a technicality made 
it impossible for the PSOB office to review Dale Long's claim.
  Under the PSOB law, in order for an emergency medical technician 
serving the public to be covered, he or she must be part of a public 
agency, as defined in the law. In Vermont, and elsewhere in the United 
States, particularly in rural areas, there are ambulance companies that 
do not have a formalized relationship with a state or municipal 
government, and therefore are not considered a public agency under the 
law. This technicality meant that Dale Long, and others like him across 
the country who serve their communities as part of a private, non-
profit rescue company, subject to the same risks and stresses, did not 
have the security of coverage under the PSOB program. Dale Long's 
tragedy exposed this gap, and I introduced legislation to fix it.
  Mr. Long worked for the Bennington Rescue Squad, a private, non-
profit entity serving Bennington, VT. The Bennington Rescue Squad has 
been serving the people of Bennington, VT since 1963, and provides 
paramedic 911 services to that community. It is an integral part of the 
public safety infrastructure of Bennington, Vermont. Similarly situated 
men and women who serve others as a part of private, non-profit rescue 
squads should be placed in the same position that all other EMTs, 
firefighters, and police officers are relative to the PSOB program. 
Today, after nearly three years of work in Congress, and through the 
tireless advocacy of so many in the public safety community like the 
American Ambulance Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the 
International Association of Firefighters, and many others, I expect 
that this measure will be enacted. This is their law.
  The other provisions in this legislation were developed around the 
provision I drafted to support Dale Long's survivors and all who may 
find themselves in similar circumstances. In cooperation with House 
Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, I assembled a host of other measures to 
make the PSOB program more equitable, and more efficient for the 
families of our fallen first responders and those first responders who 
have been permanently disabled in the line of duty.
  Before describing those measures, and the intent behind them, it is 
important to consider the overarching intent behind the original 
enactment of the PSOB law. In 1976, Congress enacted the Public Safety 
Officers Benefits Act in order to accomplish several policy goals. 
First, Congress sought to provide uniformity to a disparate system for 
first responder benefits across the country and to ensure that 
irrespective of the benefits provided in a state, all first responders, 
regardless of where they lived, would benefit from meaningful 
assistance. In doing so, Congress also intended to ensure that the 
Federal PSOB benefit was to be provided in addition to any other death 
or disability benefits that may be provided by a state. This policy was 
affirmed by the Supreme Court in the 1986 case of Rose v. Arkansas 
State Police. There, in affirming Congress' intent to protect the 
Federal benefit from reduction by the provision of a state benefit, the 
Court identified that Congress wished to address the inadequacy of 
death benefits paid to first responders in some states.
  At the time of the original law's enactment, Congress also believed 
and intended that a uniform Federal benefit, irrespective of and immune 
from reduction by any state benefit, would encourage recruitment and 
retention of qualified public safety officers. The United States Court 
of Federal Claims, in upholding the award of a PSOB benefit that had 
been wrongly denied, wrote in Demutiis v. United States: ``Recognizing 
the extraordinary risks incurred by officers in serving the public, 
Congress provided for these death benefits not only as a matter of 
equity, but also to promote the recruitment and retention of safety 
officers as part of the national fight against crime.'' This incentive, 
central to congressional policy, is only meaningful and effective when 
the process for providing these benefits is efficient and free from 
unnecessary delay or dispute.
  Congress sought with the law to recognize the very real risks that 
public safety officers face on a daily basis--whether fighting a fire, 
apprehending a criminal, or providing lifesaving medical assistance 
during an emergency situation.
  The House Judiciary Committee, in its report at the time of PSOB's 
original enactment, noted that there was a moral component to this 
program as well. Then, the House Judiciary Committee characterized the 
original Act as Congress' ``recognition of society's moral obligation 
to compensate the families of those individuals who daily risk their 
lives to preserve peace and to protect our lives and property.'' I 
agreed then, and I believe now as strongly as ever that supporting our 
first responders is the right thing to do.
  The passage of this amendment to the National Defense Authorization 
Act for Fiscal Year 2013 will add efficiencies to claims processing and 
expand benefits available under the program, and will further and 
reaffirm Congress' original intent.
  This legislation, which the House of Representatives has approved, 
and which the Senate now considers, makes several important changes to 
the broader PSOB law, including the Hometown Heroes law, which I was 
proud to author in 2003. I will take a moment now to discuss those 
provisions.
  The hometown heroes law makes first responders who have died as the 
result of a heart attack or stroke in the line of duty, or within a 
discrete time period following the period while the first responder was 
on duty, eligible for a death or disability benefit under the PSOB law. 
The amendment we consider strengthens this law. It does so by adding to 
the list of qualifying health incidents ``vascular rupture,'' thus 
broadening coverage under the hometown heroes law. Under current law, 
in order to be eligible for a benefit, an officer must have suffered a 
heart attack or stroke. There are, unfortunately, cases on hold within 
the PSOB office that are not being processed due to the presence of a 
vascular rupture, which is nevertheless a health event consistent with 
the type of stressful activity associated with the work that first 
responders do every day.
  The hometown heroes statute recognizes those situations where an 
officer engages in ``nonroutine, stressful or strenuous physical'' 
activity. This definition and its implementing regulations have been 
the source of concern for many in the first responder community. 
``Nonroutine, stressful or strenuous'' activity is defined in the law 
to exclude ``actions of a clerical, administrative, or nonmanual 
nature.'' Thus the law contains a very limited universe of activities 
that are expressly excluded from the hometown heroes definition or what 
type of activity is covered. As author of the hometown heroes law, it 
was my intent to make sure that those first responders, who suffer a 
catastrophic health event while on duty or shortly following a period 
of duty, were covered. No one should doubt the stresses encountered 
every day by our first responders. If we know one thing about the work 
that our first responders do, it is that it is unpredictable and is 
very difficult to characterize as routine. Congress intended that the 
language delineating the type of activity that would give rise to 
hometown heroes claim be construed broadly and the addition of 
``vascular rupture'' to the list of qualifying health events 
underscores that intent.
  In 2007, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the 
Department of Justice implementation of the hometown heroes law. This 
hearing followed many calls from the first responder community to 
provide oversight on its implementation. I believe this hearing helped 
to move the needed regulations along, and served to remind relevant 
officials that this undertaking and policy was important to the 
legislative branch. It served to reaffirm that at bottom Congress was 
seeking

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with this law to benefit first responders and that ambiguities should 
be resolved in favor of the claimant consistent with the overarching 
congressional policy.
  Congress did not intend for lawyers at the Department of Justice to 
argue with claimants over the meaning of ``nonroutine, stressful or 
strenuous physical'' activity. Anyone who has served as a public safety 
officer knows that there is nothing ``routine'' about the work. From 
responding to an emergency scene to render assistance, performing a 
traffic stop that can go very wrong in an instant, maintaining custody 
of inmates, or engaging in a training or fitness exercise, 
``nonroutine, stressful or strenuous physical'' activities are 
expressed clearly in the statute, and Congress understood, and 
intended, that the vast majority of line-of-duty work in which first 
responders engage is ``nonroutine, stressful or strenuous physical'' 
activity. As the statute makes abundantly clear, with its limited 
exceptions, activities that would be considered routine, and not 
stressful or strenuous physical activity, consist generally of clerical 
or administrative activities. Indeed, given the Hometown Heroes 
statutory presumption, which directs PSOB fact finders to presume that 
a heart attack, stroke, or vascular rupture is an injury sustained in 
the line of duty for purposes of a PSOB benefit, Congress made the 
judgment and intends for such claims to be weighted heavily in favor of 
providing the benefit.
  Under the law, the presumption in favor of the benefit may only be 
overcome when PSOB fact finders are presented with evidence that 
factors other than duty-related activities led to a stroke, heart 
attack, or vascular rupture. The legislation we consider today refines 
the existing statutory standard to emphasize that the ``mere presence'' 
of cardiovascular risk factors in a fallen first responder is not 
enough to overcome this presumption. That is, simply because a public 
safety officer who suffers a heart attack, stroke, or vascular rupture 
may have had present risk factors or other indicators of the presence 
of cardiovascular disease, that is not enough to overcome the strong 
presumption in favor of eligibility. Nothing in this legislation or the 
refinement to the Hometown Heroes law should be construed as a 
departure from this presumption. Indeed, the intent of this provision 
is to clarify that the burden to overcome the presumption is a heavy 
one. As Congress recognized in 2003 with the enactment of the hometown 
heroes law and its statutory presumption, serving as a first responder 
presents physical and psychological challenges unlike any other 
occupation in civil society.
  In order to expedite claims processing for first responders and to 
reduce administrative costs within the PSOB office, the legislation we 
consider contains a measure to include a ``medical or claims examiner'' 
within the definition of hearing examiner. If enacted, this measure, 
one resource for the fact finder, is to be used carefully and limited 
to those instances where the fact finder determines that a ``medical 
[or claims] examiner'' within a medical specialty or subspecialty may 
provide in-person examinations or record reviews to gain greater 
insight regarding a claim. In turn, that examiner will submit a report 
to the fact finder for consideration. Nothing in this measure, or the 
House Report's analysis of the companion bill H.R.4018, should be 
construed to remove the discretion of the fact finder. The fact finder 
must weigh the totality of the evidence, including reports of 
independent treating physicians whose experience and expertise 
regarding an officer's medical history and current condition are 
invaluable for a greater understanding of the case.
  The legislation further amends the PSOB statute to clarify and 
restate existing practice and procedure that PSOB payments shall be 
made ``only upon determination by the Bureau that the facts legally 
warrant payments.'' Without question the Bureau has the duty to 
responsibly administer the PSOB program according to the law and 
regulations. Concurrent with this duty is the Bureau's responsibility 
to survivors: the Bureau must use its best and appropriate efforts to 
ensure that, where the facts warrant payment, claimants shall receive 
the benefit.
  This means nothing more than that it is the PSOB office, the Bureau 
of Justice Assistance, as the entity responsible for administering PSOB 
claims, which is charged to make determinations on claims. This does 
not approve or compel PSOB fact finders to abdicate to legal counsel 
their responsibilities to decide claims. The claims process itself in 
most instances should be sufficient for PSOB fact finders to make the 
determination required, on the facts presented, under the law. This 
provision is not an invitation in any way, absent evidence of fraud, to 
subject claims to unnecessary, protracted legal or medical review. Nor 
should this provision be construed to alter the well-established 
standard of review applicable to the claims process, that where the 
facts of a case ``more likely than not'' warrant payment of a claim, 
the benefit should be approved. This is a crucial aspect of the 
administration of the PSOB benefit. And I would take a moment to 
respectfully disagree with language contained in the House Judiciary 
Committee's report on the legislation we pass today. Language in the 
House Report to accompany H.R.4018, which appears to require the 
Department of Justice `` to objectively test or verify each material 
factual assertion made and obtain relevant information beyond what 
claimants may provide'' in order to discharge its legal duty, is 
inconsistent with the intent of the PSOB law. I would note my strong 
disagreement with this language, which fails to appreciate Congress' 
original intent in enacting this law and should therefore be rejected.
  When Congress enacted this law in 1976, it did not intend then, and 
does not today, that this benefit program be an adversarial proceeding 
for the families of fallen public safety officers or those public 
safety officers who have suffered a career-ending disability in the 
line of duty. While the PSOB program has been amended many times over 
the years to expand coverage to survivors and the public safety 
community, in too many ways the program has become administratively 
more complex and cumbersome for families to receive the benefits due 
them. The hearing record for the Senate Judiciary Committee's 
examination of this program on October 4, 2007 is replete with 
testimony concerning the frustrations and unnecessary challenges too 
many surviving families have faced. Should it be enacted, the 
legislation we consider today and this statement reaffirm the original 
purpose of the PSOB law which, in its simplicity and true to Congress' 
intent, clearly directed that in any case in which the Bureau of 
Justice Assistance determines that a public safety officer has died of 
a personal injury in the line of duty, the Bureau shall pay a benefit.
  Federal officials, who administer the PSOB program, like all Federal 
officials involved with providing financial assistance, are under both 
an ethical and a legal duty to administer PSOB benefits in a manner 
consistent with the controlling law and regulations. Nothing in this 
legislation subjects Federal or contract employees determining PSOB 
claims to any greater liability or penalties than are currently 
applicable to other government employees. As Chairman of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, with oversight responsibilities over the 
Department of Justice, I have confidence that the men and women of the 
Justice Department who administer PSOB claims execute their 
responsibilities with the highest level of integrity, and will continue 
to do so in the future with the discretion that the law provides. 
Justice Department officials should be confident that the good work 
that they do relative to this program, even where the process of review 
may question their judgment or conclusions, is subject to a law that 
gives them the freedom to exercise their discretion fairly and 
impartially. The operative standard for claims evaluation under the 
PSOB law is one of ``more likely than not'', and this standard by its 
terms allows ample room for PSOB fact finders to exercise broad 
discretion. Indeed, it is worth recognizing that the courts have 
reversed the denial of PSOB benefits on at least eight occasions. I am 
aware of no instance, however, where the approval of a PSOB benefit was 
overturned or determined to have been in error.
  Let me conclude with a few general points about this important 
program. Congress enacted this law in 1976 because it recognized then, 
as we do now,

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that the welfare of America's public safety officers, and their 
families, is worthy of our support. Congress has acted over the last 36 
years on several occasions to expand the law. The PSOB program was 
designed with that overarching principle in mind, and the Department of 
Justice, in administering the program, must make every effort to ensure 
that the families of fallen officers and those disabled are provided 
with the benefit to which they are entitled under the law in an 
efficient manner.
  As the Department of Justice moves forward to implement the 
improvements that Congress considers today, I look forward to working 
with officials within the Department's Office of Justice Programs as 
they carry out their work. And I look forward to seeing these measures 
put into practice swiftly and with the best interests in mind of the 
men and woman across the country who serve all of us every day.

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