Common Defense Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2021 MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Flores [email protected] Abby Shepard [email protected]  Common Defense Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act WASHINGTON — Today, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual congressional bill that outlines the budget and funding for the U.S. Department of Defense. While the $770 billion […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 15, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT:

Stephanie Flores

[email protected]

Abby Shepard

[email protected]firesidecampaigns.com 

Common Defense Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON — Today, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual congressional bill that outlines the budget and funding for the U.S. Department of Defense. While the $770 billion bill targets a wide range of policies, a majority of the bill funds a broad range of projects which neglect to address the most pressing issues facing Americans at home.

Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez released the following statement:

“Each year, Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and each year, the exorbitant price tag for programs and policies largely dedicated either to war or pointless military efforts abroad is a slap in the face to military members, veterans and Americans. This year, the bill hits especially hard in the wake of months of negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, a piece of legislation that would invest in the programs Americans actually need, yet it struggles to garner enough support for its passage through Congress—a clear indication that certain politicians would prefer to support war over their own constituents’ needs.

“This year’s NDAA is set to spend billions on bulking up the United States’ military posturing abroad, a choice that prioritizes asserting our global hegemony over protecting our citizens. The bill also approves millions for military equipment purchases while watering down some of the most important provisions with the most direct impact on military members and their families, like military justice reform and military extremism. Meanwhile, thousands of troops are forced to live in squalor on old, moldy base housing.

“While much of this bill is devoted to excess spending on perceived threats to our imperialist dominance, there are a few helpful provisions that deserve emphasis. The NDAA establishes an independent commission to investigate the full 20 years of war in Afghanistan, a crucial step toward understanding what we did wrong and applying lessons learned to future military endeavors. Additionally, the bill makes steps toward reforming the military justice process—though it doesn’t go nearly far enough—and includes a basic needs allowance for low-income service members, a necessary move as more than 160,000 military families rely on SNAP to feed their families.

“Overall, the NDAA allocates too much money to useless military posturing and too little money to the programs that address the most pressing issues for our country. As we enter 2022, we urge our congressional representatives to take bolder action on issues like voting rights and climate change—because if we want to claim our country as the best and truly protect our citizens, then we have to invest in the domestic infrastructure and programs that will make that a reality.”

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