The House voted Thursday evening to put limits on President Obama’s power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens who are terrorist suspects, but rejected a proposal to eliminate the authority altogether.
In a close 214-211 vote, members approved an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that says nothing in U.S. law can deny citizens the right to a court hearing. Twenty-one Republicans voted against the amendment, and only three Democrats voted for it.
Many believe the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) gives the president the authority to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens. Goodlatte said his language is aimed at resolving the issue.
“Today with this amendment, I want to make clear that nothing in the AUMF or the fiscal year 2012 NDAA or any other law for that matter can be construed to deny the great writ of habeas corpus,” he said.
“This is an important amendment that should alleviate any of the well-founded concerns of the American people concerning the possibility of indefinite detention of United States citizens.”