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Rep. Chu Statement Opposing NDAA

December 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — The House of Representatives today passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, as reported by the House and Senate conference committee. The conference report authorizes $738 billion for Defense programs in FY2020, including $635 billion in base funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $71.5 billion in Oversees Contingency Operations (COO) funding. It creates a new U.S. Space Force  as a branch within the Air Force and creates a new 12-week paid parental leave program for all federal employees with at least one year of service. The FY2020 NDAA also continues support for the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and fails to lift the ban on transgender troops, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted against the NDAA and issued the following statement:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is an important piece of legislation that supports our men and women in uniform and provides for the defense of our nation. However, by prolonging endless and undefined wars, excluding trans-men and women, continuing the inhumane detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and allowing the Trump administration’s theft of Congressional funds for a bigoted wall, I believe this NDAA is actually working against our country’s interests and values, and as such, was not a bill I could support.

“I’m deeply disappointed that numerous provisions included in the House-passed NDAA, which would have addressed these failings, were stripped out by the conference committee. In addition to stripping amendments that repealed the AUMFs and the trans ban, the conference committee also caved to Azerbaijan to remove an amendment that I had included in the House version that supported the cease-fire in Nagorno Karabakh. This provision called for an end to land mines, more international monitors, and shot locators to identify any violations of the peace. It’s disappointing that such common sense and life saving measures were left out at the behest of the aggressor in the conflict.  

“I’m also disappointed that the final version included the Senate’s language prohibiting federal funds from being used to procure buses and trains from companies owned by Chinese nationals. This language, unlike the provision in the House-passed NDAA, is an attack on BYD, a manufacturer located near my district, which is a leading producer of clean vehicles and a significant employer to our area. But they are being penalized simply for ties to China, even though they are an American company.

“This bill does have some positive contributions, though, like a pay raise for the troops and a new 12-week parental leave policy for federal employees. I’m so glad these important provisions were included. But so long as this NDAA prolongs war and injustice, I cannot support it.”