Alan Grayson on Homeland Security



Opposed $607 billion national defense bill

On May 15, 2015, the House passed HR 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act, by a vote of 269-151--Rep. Grayson voted NAY. The bill "authorizes FY2016 appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense (DOD) programs and activities, including military personnel strengths." Grayson voted with 142 other Democrats and 8 Republicans against the bill. The Senate passed the bill on June 18, 2015, by a vote of 71-25. President Obama vetoed the bill on Oct. 22.

On Nov. 5, 2015, the House passed S 1356, the National Defense Authorization Act, by a vote of 370-58--Rep. Grayson voted NAY. The second version of the $607 billion national defense bill included "$5 billion in cuts to match what was approved in the budget" and language preventing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Grayson voted with 48 other Democrats and 9 Republicans against the bill. On Nov. 10 the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 91-3, and President Barack Obama signed it into law on Nov. 25.

Source: Ballotpedia.org coverage of 2016 Florida Senate race , May 15, 2015

Repeal Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, and reinstate discharged gays.

Grayson signed HR1283&S3065

Repeals current Department of Defense policy [popularly known as "Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell"] concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces. Prohibits the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the Armed Forces or any person seeking to become a member. Authorizes the re-accession into the Armed Forces of otherwise qualified individuals previously separated for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the furnishing of dependent benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of 'marriage' and 'spouse' and referred to as the 'Defense of Marriage Act').

Source: Military Readiness Enhancement Act 10-HR1283 on Mar 3, 2010

Opposes banning military gay marriage.

Grayson opposes the CC Voters Guide question on military gay marriage

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Prohibiting the military from forcing chaplains to perform same-sex marriages"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q3c on Oct 31, 2012

Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls.

Grayson signed restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary:

  • Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.
  • Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.
  • Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.

    Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013. We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.

    Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.

    Source: H.R.2048&S.2685 14-H2048 on Apr 28, 2015

    End bulk data collection under USA PATRIOT Act.

    Grayson co-sponsored USA FREEDOM Act

    Congressional summary:: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act or the USA FREEDOM Act: