Pentagon, Justice reject GOP effort on terrorism

AP News

10/20/2011 3:46:24 PM - AP News

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder are opposing a Senate Republican effort that would prohibit the United States from prosecuting terror suspects in federal court.

Panetta and Holder sent a letter to Senate leaders saying the measure would deprive them of a potent weapon in the fight against terrorism and increase the risk of terrorists escaping justice and putting innocent lives in danger.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (AY'-aht) of New Hampshire has offered an amendment to a spending bill for the Justice Department and several other Cabinet agencies. Her amendment would prohibit the use of funds for trying enemy combatants in federal courts.

It's unclear when the Senate will vote on the amendment. Lawmakers hope to complete the bill by week's end.