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The NSA is listening, but Senate majority leader is not

Enzi calls for debate on defense bill, not silence on important issues

December 18, 2013

Our nation is being done a great disservice by the Senate majority leader, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who spoke against the leader’s decision to force a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without debate or amendments.

Enzi called on his colleagues to reject the take-it-or-leave it approach by the leader and open the floor to debate.

“One of those important issues that we are skipping over is our nuclear deterrent. I offered several amendments on this issue because I believe the Administration is playing a dangerous game with our national security,” said Enzi. “The solution I proposed in my amendment was simple and straight-forward. It would have ensured any further reductions in our nuclear arsenal could not be done by the Administration unilaterally.” 

“Unfortunately, there are those in this Administration who take the contributions of our military for granted. They don’t have the sense of history that is needed to fully appreciate why these weapons were designed and put into operation in the first place. They don’t see how much they are needed today and will still be needed tomorrow to ensure our future. They don’t fully appreciate the key role they have played in the past either; they seem to think that nuclear weapons are part of a bygone era – a relic of the past – that has not been needed since the Cold War ended.”

           Enzi also has concerns with the Senate not considering his amendments that would protect privacy from violations of the NSA, but also the collection of financial records by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without consent. The courts and American people have concerns with all of the privacy violations by the federal government and the Senate majority and their leader should too, according to Enzi.         

“Unfortunately, due to the Majority Leader’s actions we will not be able to debate the important issues.  Because of that, I cannot support moving forward to the Defense bill. I hope that on our next Defense bill we all will recognize the importance of being allowed to fully debate the issues so that our men and women in uniform can continue to fulfill their mission of keeping our nation safe, secure and free.”

Along with his amendments to protect our ICBM force and target the NSA’s domestic spying on Americans and privacy violations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Enzi offered amendments to address religious freedoms, Guantanamo detainees, the National Guard, unlawful detention, and military energy standards. All, along with more than 500 amendments from other senators, were blocked from consideration by the majority leader.

The Senate voted 71-29 to move toward final passage of the NDAA with a final vote expected by the end of the week.

Click here to read Senator Enzi’s full speech as prepared for delivery.

Click here to download the video and audio.