Senator Mike Johanns today issued the following statement after voting against the National Defense Authorization Act:
"There are two problems with this bill that are so concerning I could not vote for it. It includes hate crimes legislation, which says certain victims of crime are more worthy of protection than others. Many are rightly angered by this provision because the Constitution guarantees everyone equal protection under the law.
"Secondly, I am deeply concerned that new language was added in the conference report weakening the restrictions on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. It is unacceptable to add such a provision without any Senate debate or discussion. The American people don't want suspected terrorists brought to our communities and the public is frustrated with sneak attempts to undermine their wishes.
"I absolutely support funding for our troops and anyone who knows me, knows how strongly I feel about that. But, this attempt to manipulate Republican support of troop funding by slipping in provisions that undermine our national security is intolerable."