President Signs Defense Authorization Act
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2011 Noting his objection to two of its provisions, President Barack Obama signed the fiscal 2011 defense authorization act into law Jan. 7.
The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 is named for former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, longtime chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who lost his House seat in November’s election.
“The act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs,” the president wrote in a statement accompanying the signing’s announcement.
Obama registered “strong objections” to two of the act’s provisions related to transfer of detainees from the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One prohibits the use of funds appropriated by the act to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States, and the other bars the use of certain funds to transfer detainees to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met.
But despite his objections to the two sections, the president said in his statement, “I have signed this act because of the importance of authorizing appropriations for, among other things, our military activities in 2011.”
The act governs a wide range of Defense Department activities, including procurement; research, development, testing and evaluation; equipment operation and maintenance; military personnel authorizations and policy; and reserve-component management.