Rep. Chu Statement on 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House voted to pass H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. This bill authorizes approximately $621.5 billion for the Department of Defense and other related agencies and programs, and an additional $74.6 billion designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The OCO designation includes $10 billion that would go to non-OCO base budget activities. The bill authorizes $72 billion above the sequester level Budget Control Act’s cap of $549 billion in defense budget authority for FY2018. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) opposed the bill and released the following statement:
“I’m disappointed that once again, the vitally important National Defense Authorization Act is being used to push divisive Republican priorities like the continued funding of unconscionable detentions at Guantanamo Bay. These prisoners are being detained without charge and in violation of our own values. Not only that, but this center is an incredible waste of money, costing taxpayers an estimated $10 million per detainee every year. That’s why I continue to oppose any NDAA which provides continued funding for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But this NDAA creates a number of new problems as well.
“For instance, despite being a bill to fund our national defense, this bill includes a provision that would allow for Defense Department dollars to be redirected to pay for Donald Trump’s ridiculous border wall – a wall that will not contribute to our security and only serves as an expensive monument to xenophobia. It also wastes money paying for ships the Navy doesn’t need or want, which ends up ultimately lining the pockets of defense contractors.
“Overall, this NDAA reflects a government whose priorities are out of line. Defense spending has doubled over the last decade to the point that we now spend more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan combined! This bill makes that gap even worse by adding to the defense budget even as Trump and Republicans propose massive cuts to domestic spending. Even the State Department and international aid are on the chopping block, despite the word of our generals who tell us that diplomacy and development are essential to our national security.”