Rep. Huffman Votes Against Bloated Military Bill
Washington, D.C.- Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today voted against the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the House 344-81. The bill authorizes $621.5 billion in “base budget” spending at the Department of Defense and the defense functions of the Department of Energy. The legislation also authorizes $74.6 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations account.
In total, the bill would authorize nearly $30 billion more in defense spending than President Trump included in his already bloated Pentagon budget request. Even before this increased authorization, the United States spends more on defense than the next seven nations combined.
“Yet again, the Republican-controlled House has voted to pass a deeply-flawed defense authorization bill,” said Rep. Huffman. “This year’s expansion of the defense budget flies in the face of common-sense cost savings, adding billions of unneeded spending to President Trump’s already over-inflated budget request. Undoubtedly, this far-reaching authorization of Pentagon spending will be used as an excuse to cut key funding from programs that support our seniors, youth, and families here at home. We cannot keep ignoring basic math when it comes to the national budget. If Congress is serious about fiscal responsibility, let’s begin with the bloated defense budget, which once again spends billions of dollars of hard-earned taxpayer money on unwanted and unnecessary defense initiatives.”
Congressman Huffman’s leading concerns with this year’s NDAA include:
- Exploding defense spending far beyond statutory budget caps. Authorizes nearly $30 billion above even President Trump’s massive budget request;
- Continuing a harmful practice of circumventing statutory budget caps by including “base budget” spending in the Overseas Contingency Operations account, which is designed to support service members on the front lines;
- Spending billions on unwanted and unneeded purchases, including 17 more F-35s than requested by the DOD;
- Continuing to prevent the transfer of prisoners out of the Guantanamo detention facility;
- Making an enormous down payment on expensive nuclear weapon modernization programs at a time the U.S. should be focused on non-proliferation;
- Allowing the transfer of U.S. funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; and
- Further commiting the U.S. to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
During consideration of the bill, Congressman Huffman voted against a discriminatory amendment that would have prohibited funds for any medical treatment relating to gender transition, an amendment that was rejected by a bipartisan vote of 214 to 209 (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll369.xml). He also joined the successful effort to fend off an amendment that sought to remove instructions to the military to study the national security threats posed by climate change. (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll368.xml)