Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act

Jul 21, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib released the following statement regarding today’s House passage of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I voted against the NDAA today, a bill that hands nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars to our already bloated Defense Department and out-of-control President.

“As a voice and advocate for our frontline communities battling COVID-19 while facing concentrated poverty, growing health care costs, decreasing education funding, and continuous assaults on our environment, I could not support a bill that provides $732 billion for wars and defense contractors while our families struggle to make ends meet during this crisis. I support the long-overdue dismantling of the military-industrial complex so that we can finally put a stop to endless wars and reinvest resources into our communities. This bill does the exact opposite. 

“While I could not vote in favor of this bill, I am proud to have authored two amendments that were adopted by the House and improve the legislation by:

  • Requiring action plans for the cleanup of toxic PFAS chemicals: Requiring the Department of Defense to report on their coordination with State and local officials when they use or spill PFAS-containing fire-fighting Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) and to submit a clean-up action plan to Congress within 30 days of their initial report.
  • Protecting the health of our servicemembers: Ensuring that our service members operating the F-35 stealth fighter who have been injured by the technical and design flaws in this plane get the care they need and deserve.

“In addition, I am proud to have worked closely with other Progressive champions in the House and Senate as cosponsor of a push for a 10% cut to the defense budget, with the savings to be used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although that amendment did not pass in the House, I am encouraged to see a growing number of my colleagues backing the need for an end to limitless military spending.

“I am deeply disappointed by this bill’s passage, but I will not lose hope. We will continue to fight for a future in which Congress prioritizes our neighborhoods and communities over unlimited Pentagon spending.”

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