Washington DC - House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement after the President signed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act into law:
I applaud the President for signing this important piece of legislation. I would also like to thank my colleagues and staff for their dedication to completing the bill.
The bill provides our men and women in uniform with the tools and resources they need to maintain national security. It also provides the members of our Armed Services and their families with the benefits and support that they have earned through their service.
In regard to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the bill certainly does not go far enough, and some unnecessary legal barriers remain, but progress has been made. Some restrictions on overseas transfers have been loosened, providing the Obama Administration with an opportunity to begin to reduce the population at the facility. In the days ahead, I will continue to work with my colleagues and the White House to achieve the important national security goal of closing the expensive, damaging and unnecessary detention facility.
The bill makes some progress on helping the military get a handle on sexual assault. There are a number of important policy changes contained in this bill and our committee will continue to stay engaged with the Department of Defense and all vital stakeholders to ensure that we never stop working to protect those who protect us.
Again, I would like to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and both chambers for their dedication to completing this important piece of legislation.