December 11, 2019

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Opposes the FY20 NDAA Conference Report

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee voted against the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report, and released the following statement:

“I’d like to thank my colleague, Chairman Adam Smith, for his efforts and advocacy to include key provisions from the House-passed NDAA in the conference report. I was very pleased to see that paid parental leave for all federal employees and policies to address and prevent sexual misconduct in the military were included.

“However, there are some important provisions from the House version that were not included in the conference report. 

“The repeal of the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF are noticeably absent. The failure to include the repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF is particularly disappointing given that the House passed my amendment to include this repeal.  It makes absolutely no sense to keep these outdated AUMFs on the books.

“I will not stop fighting until we restore some Congressional authority on matters of war and peace and finally repeal these AUMFs. It is past time to stop endless wars, and I will continue fighting to ensure that.

“Congress voted to increase the Pentagon’s budget to approximately $733 billion, the largest number ever authorized. After failing its first agency-wide audit last year, Congress should not be rewarding the Pentagon with a massive spending increase. I cannot support a bill that funds the Pentagon at a level far beyond what is necessary for our national defense.

“With the release of the Afghanistan Papers, it is especially imperative that we take a hard look at our military spending and authorizations. I can tell you: it is an appalling, but not shocking read for those of us who have been working to stop endless war. It’s past time to end the longest war in United States history, withdraw our troops, and bring our servicemembers home.

“For these reasons, I ultimately was unable to support the NDAA conference report and voted no.”

Congresswoman Lee’s floor speech can be found here.