NATIONAL DEFENSE BILL INCLUDES WALORSKI PROVISIONS ON MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT, GUANTANAMO DETAINEE POLICY, IRAN SANCTIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed its version of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including provisions authored by Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) combating military sexual assault, prohibiting the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, and supporting the full enforcement of Iran sanctions.
“When I talk with Hoosier moms and dads, they are concerned about our national security and the safety of their families. Each of these provisions works towards protecting America’s sons and daughters and ensuring the United States continues to fight terrorism and nuclear threats to make the world a safer place,” said Walorski, a freshman member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This defense bill is the key mechanism to provide necessary resources for our nation’s warfighters, and I am pleased my proposals were included to strengthen American foreign policy and protect our servicemembers.”
Whistleblower Protections for Military Sexual Assault Victims
This provision specifically identifies reports of sexual assault as a form of communication under whistleblower protections and requires an Inspector General investigation into allegations of retaliatory personnel actions taken against victims who have reported alleged instances of rape, sexual assault, or other forms of sexual misconduct in the military.
Earlier this week, Walorski spoke about her proposal on the House floor during general debate. The bill continues to garner bipartisan support with over 100 co-sponsors, with companion legislation introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Prohibit Transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen
This amendment prohibits the Secretary of Defense from using any funds authorized to the department for the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen for one year.
According to a 2012 estimate from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 27% of former Guantanamo detainees were suspected or confirmed of terrorist reengagement, a troubling increase from the previous report. During a speech at the National Defense University in May, President Obama announced he was lifting his moratorium on transfers to Yemen, a decision that could send nearly 60 Yemeni detainees into the center of AQAP’s base. Passage of the Walorski amendment will prohibit any authorized Department of Defense funds from contributing to this movement.
Support Sanctions on Iran
This amendment expresses the sense of Congress in support of fully implementing U.S. and international sanctions on Iran. Reiterates that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability, and declares that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the survival and security of the State of Israel.