Congressman Blumenauer Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act

December 11, 2019
Press Release
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Senior Members of the Ways and Means Committee, today issued the following statement after voting against the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.
 
“This is the best NDAA bill in decades. Chairman Smith did a masterful job including many of our most valued priorities. There were many things to applaud, including paid family leave for all federal workers and my House-passed amendments to modify reporting requirements and promote climate resiliency at Department of Defense facilities. I’ve been committed for years to securing and protecting Special Immigrant Visas for thousands of Afghan and Iraqi allies, and it was extremely gratifying to see it included as well. 
 
However, this bill authorizes far too much money for defense spending. It irresponsibly allows for the proliferation of low-yield nuclear weaponry, does not reduce U.S. support for Saudi aggression in Yemen, and does not repeal language authorizing the 2002 AUMF. This bill also does not prohibit border wall construction, which is unacceptable.
 
I applaud Chairman Smith for extracting as much as he possibly could out of this package, but it’s not something I can in good conscience vote for. However, the direction we are heading is very encouraging, and clearly shows that Democratic leadership makes a difference.”