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Jayapal Statement on Vote Against Bloated Pentagon Budget

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) today released the following statement after voting against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I appreciate the work that Ranking Member Adam Smith and Senate Democrats did to ensure that most of the objectionable provisions around reproductive care and diversity, equity and inclusion were removed from the House GOP bill. But I still could not vote for the bill because of the excessive Pentagon budget. 

“Every year, Republicans tell us that we have no money for Medicare for All, College for All, childcare, or expanded Social Security that would benefit millions of working families across the country.  And yet we still pump far too much money each year— even more than the Secretary of Defense himself asked for—into an already bloated Pentagon budget.

“The Pentagon has never successfully passed an audit, yet this year we are raising its budget to $886 billion with no increased accountability or transparency. It’s a shameful waste of taxpayer money and I cannot support it. 

“I am also very concerned that this year’s NDAA package included a clean reauthorization of FISA, even as the House Judiciary Committee passed a bipartisan reform bill by a margin of 35-2 to overhaul this program that violates Americans’ fourth amendment right to privacy. There was a real solution on the table to stop warrantless spying by government agencies and it should’ve been passed – not a clean extension that does nothing to protect people.

“I will continue to push for transparency and accountability for the Pentagon budget and to ensure that we understand the link between our national security and our ability to take care of our veterans and invest in domestic programs that allow all our families to thrive.”