Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll vote in favor of a military spending bill this week in spite of a looming veto threat. The $622-billion measure includes a requirement that al-Qaeda terrorists captured on U.S. soil be held by military, not civilian, authorities. President Obama opposes the idea but Grassley says it has bipartisan Congressional support.
Grassley, a Republican, says, “I would prefer what was in the original bill to come out of the Senate Defense Committee, which I think was even stronger than this bipartisan compromise.” Supporters of the legislation say it would give the federal government the power and flexibility it needs to defend the country against terrorists.
“Obviously, if I’ve gotta’ choose between the president’s position and this bipartisan compromise, I’m going to choose the bipartisan compromise,” Grassley says. “I believe people that are enemy combatants should not have any more rights in courts than what the Geneva Convention allows.”
The annual defense authorization legislation affirms the U.S. military’s ability to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely. Grassley says he wouldn’t want to see American soldiers wrapped in red tape when trying to apprehend potential al-Qaeda fighters.
Grassley says, “Enemy combatants are enemy combatants and I can’t visualize our troops having to read Miranda rights to people they arrest on the battlefield.”
A Senate vote is expected on the measure as soon as Wednesday.