11:02am

Mon December 12, 2011
Politics

Co Sen. Mark Udall Presses for Defense Bill Changes

Senator Mark Udall is one of several lawmakers seeking changes to a sweeping defense bill – namely to its provisions dealing with suspected terrorists.

The Colorado Democrat is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is tasked with negotiating a final version of the 2012 Defense Authorization Act.

Udall is pushing to remove provisions that allow U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist involvement to be detained indefinitely, citing concerns from many high-ranking intelligence and defense officials.

“Our national security leadership has even said it could make us less safe,” Udall told reporters. “And when the FBI director, the secretary of the Defense Department, and the head of our intelligence community all say it could make us less safe, I think we ought to pay attention.”

He says the current system for handling captured terrorists is working, and there’s no reason to change tactics now. The White House has threatened a veto of the bill in its current form, saying the detention provisions would tie their hands in prosecuting the war on terror. Lawmakers expect to have the bill finished and ready for a vote this week.

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