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Pocan, Lee Urge Lower NDAA Spending Levels

Aug 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Barbara Lee (CA-13), both co-founders and Co-Chairs of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus and members of the House Appropriations Committee, sent a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith today urging him and the committee to not pass a National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22 NDAA) that is larger than the level requested by President Biden earlier this year.

“At a time when the United States is withdrawing from wars abroad, we should be committed to cutting our defense spending now more than ever,” Congressman Pocan said. “The FY22 NDAA should absolutely be lower than current spending levels, and in no way should it be even a penny more than what the Commander-in-Chief requested or what the House Appropriations committee approved. The threats of today are different than those of years past and cannot be solved by military might alone. COVID-19 remains the greatest threat to our country and the world, yet only a small percentage is vaccinated against this deadly disease. Climate change is destroying neighborhoods in the blink of an eye. We should be fighting these very real threats instead of authorizing more than what was requested to fund the slush funds of defense contractors.”

“As we watch the tragic humanitarian situation unfold in Afghanistan, we must reevaluate our priorities when it comes to cutting the bloated defense budget that has enabled 40 years of blank check wars around the globe,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Despite trillions of dollars poured into our endless military spending, this budget has failed to meet the greatest threats that our nation and our world faces today, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the needs of 140 million people living in poverty. Now is the time to shift our investments away from endless wars and toward addressing human needs.”

Click here to read the letter as delivered. 

 

 

The Honorable Adam Smith

Chairman

House Armed Services Committee

2216 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Smith:

We request that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22 NDAA) reported by the House Armed Services Committee not exceed an authorization level larger than the level requested in President Biden’s budget submission to Congress or the amount of appropriations already approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

We are aware that the Senate Armed Services Committee recently passed an FY22 NDAA that is $25 billion larger than what the Commander-in-Chief requested. This number is above and beyond the more than one percent increase in funding requested by President Biden and approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Surpassing the President’s request by such a large and unwarranted amount should not be the starting position of the House Armed Services Committee, particularly when current defense spending levels should already be reduced.

America spends more on its military than the next 11 largest defense-spending nations combined. This will remain true if the President’s budget request were enacted, and the ratio will only increase under the Senate’s proposal. At a time when America’s largest national security threat is a global pandemic, our spending priorities should embrace efforts such as increased COVID vaccination efforts abroad instead of continually increased military spending – especially during a period of military withdrawal from foreign wars.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working with you to produce an FY22 NDAA that is no larger than President Biden’s budget request and that is aligned with the priorities of the House Democratic Caucus.

 

Sincerely,

Mark Pocan

Member of Congress  

 

Barbara Lee

Member of Congress

 

Jake Auchincloss

Member of Congress

 

Karen Bass

Member of Congress

 

Jamaal Bowman

Member of Congress

 

Steve Cohen

Member of Congress

 

Danny K. Davis

Member of Congress

 

Peter A. DeFazio

Member of Congress

 

Jesús G. “Chuy” García

Member of Congress

 

Raúl M. Grijalva

Member of Congress

 

Jared Huffman

Member of Congress

 

Pramila Jayapal

Member of Congress

 

Mondaire Jones

Member of Congress

 

Ro Khanna

Member of Congress

 

Andy Levin

Member of Congress

 

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress

 

Gwen Moore

Member of Congress

 

Jerrold Nadler

Member of Congress

 

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Member of Congress

 

Katie Porter

Member of Congress

 

Ayanna Pressley

Member of Congress

 

Jamie Raskin

Member of Congress

 

Jan Schakowsky

Member of Congress

 

Rashida Tlaib

Member of Congress

 

Nydia M. Velázquez

Member of Congress

 

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Member of Congress

 

Peter Welch

Member of Congress

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