Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act

December 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib released the following statement regarding the today’s upcoming House vote on the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I voted against the NDAA in July, and I will vote against it again today, as Congress moves a bill that amounts to a $131 billion increase in defense spending in the last two years.

“As a voice and advocate for a district that encompasses frontline communities facing concentrated poverty, growing health care costs, decreasing education funding, and continuous assaults on our environment, I cannot support a bill that provides $738 billion for wars and defense contractors while this year we provided only $190 billion in discretionary funding for health care, education, and workforce development. 
“This bill gives the President hundreds of billions of dollars to continue illegal, endless wars abroad, keep Guantanamo Bay open, build new nuclear warheads, and establish a wasteful Space Force that makes us less safe. 

“After the House took action to end U.S. involvement in the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen – which has killed more than 100,000 people, displaced 2 million people, and left 22 million Yemenis in dire need of humanitarian assistance – the NDAA fails to include the necessary provisions to end U.S. support for military action in Yemen.  

“The NDAA conference report also removes the House’s repeal of the Iraq War Authorization of Military Force – which continues to be used as justification for endless wars abroad – and allows the Pentagon to spend its budget at President Trump’s properties without reimbursement, turning our military budget into a goldmine for our corrupt President. 

“Congress cannot continue to rubber stamp annual increases in our military budget – by far the largest in the world – which has been used to create chaos abroad, while children go hungry at night and parents worry how they’ll keep a roof over their heads.
“The NDAA also fails to take the necessary urgent action on PFAS to keep our communities safe. The NDAA has been stripped of key PFAS provisions, including a provision designating all PFAS and PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA, a provision requiring a safe drinking water standard, and a provision that would reduce ongoing corporate PFAS releases into drinking water by adding PFAS to the Clean Water Act’s Toxic Pollutants List.  Absent these strong protections for our families and the environment, I cannot in good conscience vote for the NDAA.”