Jim DeMint on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Dec 15, 2010

Summary

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act as a member of the US House in 2001. In 2006 when the PATRIOT Act was up for reauthorization, Senator DeMint stated that the Act had been a vital weapon in our arsenal to win the War on Terror. He argued that the reauthorization Act had restored the critical law enforcement tools that have prevented terrorist attacks, and have proved instrumental in dismantling several terrorist cells in the United States. When Democrats opposed the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act, Senator DeMint stated that they were merely performing and that they criticized, yet offered no solutions of their own.

Senator DeMint has supported the NSA surveillance program and in 2006 stated that the President should use every tool in his arsenal to halt terrorism and that the program only monitored international calls with suspected terrorists. Senator DeMint has also supported the enhanced interrogations program, stating that he fully supported President Bush on this issue. 

Senator DeMint opposes the closure of detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and opposes bringing those terrorists to the US for trials or imprisonment. He has asserted that doing so would make targets of the communities that house them and endanger the general population. He has put forth an amendment to prevent the use of any funds for this purpose. Senator DeMint has also proposed legislation to ensure that all detainees receive military tribunals and are not prosecuted through a civilian trial which he says will only give them the forum they seek.

Senator DeMint also opposed the Obama administration's decision to abandon the missile defense system in Europe and stated that our top priority must be the security of America and our allies, not the appeasement of Moscow and Tehran. He asserted that breaking our word to friends in Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for the supposed good will of Vladimir Putin is naive and sets a dangerous precedent.

Finally, Senator DeMint opposes unionizing the TSA, and has supplied a long list of reasons he is opposing the move. Among those reasons are an inability to reward exceptional screeners, and a less flexible work environment and less capability to adapt to new threats. 

 

Press Release - Surveillance Program

In February of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the NSA program to monitor communications between foreign terrorists and Americans in the US. 

 

Press Statement - PATRIOT Act

In March of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that the PATRIOT Act was a vital tool for the security of the homeland.

 

Press Statement - Democrats are Performing

In September of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement claiming that the Democrats in Congress were performing for an audience and help fight the war on terror.

 

Press Statement - Terrorist Interrogations

In September of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for continued use of interrogations for terrorists who have been captured, and the Bringing Terrorists to Justice Act. Later that month, Senator DeMint released another statement on a compromise to the deal.

 

Press Statement - Military Commissions Act

In September of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the Military Commissions Act.

 

Press Statement - Unions and the TSA

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to allowing the TSA to negotiate as a union with collective bargaining.

Days later, Senator DeMint released another press statement opposing the ability to negotiate with collective bargaining and calling the Democratic legislation a payoff for unions bosses.

 

Campaign Video

In July of 2010, Senator DeMint released a campaign video discussing national security. In that video, he spoke about his opposition to closing Guantanamo and bringing the prisoners to the US.

 

Press Statement - Bringing Detainees to the US

In January of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the possibility of bringing the detainees at Guantanamo bay to the US.

 

Press Statement - Closing Guantanamo Bay

In February of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting legislation that he had sponsored to block any funding that would allow the President to close Guantanamo Bay and move those prisoners. In May of 2009, Senator DeMint issued another press statement commended the successful vote on that amendment.

 

Press Statement - Missile Defense

In November of 2009, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his opposition to the Obama administrations decision to close down a missile defense site.

 

Moving Guantanamo Detainees

In November of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to bring the detainees to the US and his efforts to enact an amendment to prevent the movement of the detainees. He issued a similar statement about his opposition to moving the detainees to Illinois.

 

2010 Re-Election Website Statements

 

 

Statements on Official Website

 

 

Voting Record

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Final Passage

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the conference report for the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - HR 1540. This final version of the legislation passed 86-13. Jim DeMint voted against the legislation.

Jim DeMint voted against the legislation.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Senate Passage

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - S 1867. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The legislation passed 93-7. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the legislation.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the legislation.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Cloture

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - S 1867. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The cloture motion passed 88-12. Jim DeMint voted against cloture to allow the bill to be considered.

Jim DeMint voted against cloture to allow the bill to be considered.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Udall Amendment to Repeal Provision

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations bill. This legislation contained provisions to allow for the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens if they were merely suspected of allying with al-Qaida. Senator Udall offered an amendment to remove this specific section. The attempt failed 38-60. Jim DeMint voted against the Udall amendment to repeal the authorization for the arrest and indefinate detention of US citizens.

Jim DeMint voted against the Udall amendment to repeal the authorization for the arrest and indefinate detention of US citizens.

FISA Amendment Acts of 2007

In February of 2008, the Senate voted on the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007. The legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support 68-29, but was never raised in the House. The legislation primarily contained provisions to allow for the monitoring of terrorists overseas that were a continuation of expired provisions in the Protect America Act. It also granted immunity to telecommunications companies against their customers for giving information to the government without a warrant. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Restore Habeas Corpus

In September of 2009, the Senate voted on an amendment to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners a Guantanamo Bay. The measure received a majority of the votes, but not enough to pass. Jim DeMint voted against the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Jim DeMint voted against the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 dealt with certain aspects of electronic surveillance and the overall war on terror. In the vote to pass the legislation, most Republicans supported the bill and only about 1/3 of the Democrats supported the legislation. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Protect America Act of 2007.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Protect America Act of 2007.

Military Commission Act of 2006

The Military Commissions Act passed in response to a supreme court ruling which stated that stated that military tribunals established by the Bush administrations did not align with the UCMJ. The Act defined unlawful enemy combatants and allowed for the military tribunals to be held. It passed the Senate 65-34. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Military Commission Act of 2006.

USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act

In March of 2006, congress reauthorized the USA PATRIOT Act. Despite the fact that the PATRIOT Act had become a controversial topic, only 4 Senators opposed the act in the actual vote. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 370; Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility Safe Closure Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Prohibits federal funds from being used to: (1) transfer any detainee at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to any facility in the United States or its territories; (2) construct or enhance any facility in the United States in order to house any such detainee; or (3) house or otherwise incarcerate any such detainee in the United States or its territories.

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