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The Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act is on the way to President Obama’s desk.  The Senate passed the final version today and the House passed it yesterday.  The bill would authorize money to continue paying the troops, operating weapons systems, funding engagements in Afghanistan and other national security programs. 

 U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R- Wyo. voted in favor of the bill, but acknowledged constituent concern about anti-terrorism measures in the legislation. Some contend the bill would change the law to allow the military to arrest and detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

“We should rightly be concerned about any possible infringement on our constitutional rights, but this bill contains specific provisions to ensure the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens are upheld,” Enzi said.  “People are hearing the pundits, but they aren’t reading the actual bill.”

Enzi said during debate on each of the Senate and House versions and the process of reconciling them, changes were made to ensure this bill would not change the rights U.S. citizens already have.

Page 655 lines 14-18 state, “(e) AUTHORITIES.---Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of the United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Page 657 lines 10-22 state, “(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.— (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.  (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.”

The bill also contains sanctions against the Iranian Bank.