top of page

War Budget-- Soon It Will Be A Trillion Dollars

Adam Schiff and Katie Porter both voted against the NDAA

A horribly wasteful $847 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA- H Res 1512)— disguised in the records so that no one will be able to find at as “Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 7776, with an amendment”— with 174 Democrats and 176 Republicans voting for it and 45 Democrats and 35 Republicans voting against it. Likely not even able to understand how horrible this sounds, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith went to the floor of the House to say “I can’t go through every single item that is in this bill, but I can tell you that just about every member of this House has something in this bill that is important for policy, important in their district. This is important policy that makes a huge difference for the people in this body and the people in this country, and I’ve urged us to support it.” The boondoggle bill included at least $45 BILLION more than Biden asked for.

To make McCarthy feel good about himself and get more Republican votes, the bill repeals the COVID vaccine mandate for members of the armed forces. It’s a non-issue now but McCarthy is playing it like the biggest victory of his life (which, sadly, it may be).

So it passed 350-80. The Russo-Republicans who back Putin voted no, the usual suspects like Marge (GA), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Scott Perry (PA), Andy Biggs (AZ), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Matt Rosendale (MT), Andrew Clyde (GA)…

The Democrats who voted NO were generally many of Congress’ most progressive members like AOC (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Jamaal Bowman (NY), Marie Newman (IL), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Ro Khanna (CA), Jim McGovern (MA), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Ilhan Omar (MN), Mondaire Jones (NY), Andy Levin (MI), Judy Chu (CA), Cori Bush (MO)… Yesterday Khanna told me that “I don’t want a trillion dollar defense budget which is where we are headed!” Chicagoland progressive Marie Newman had a similar perspective: "When we cannot address healthcare, fair housing, economic inequity or necessary fixes to roads and bridges or give paid leave to workers, we have no business overfunding the DOD. As a result I voted no for a bill where we are giving more money to the DOD than was asked for."

Another top California Democrat, Mark Takano, who was elected Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair for Policy yesterday, told me after the vote that "The $858 billion FY23 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes at least $55 billion more in military spending above what the President himself requested in his budget request, at a time when other parts of the government are facing pressures to cut spending and the American people are feeling the crunch of inflation. I am not one to always oppose NDAA and have voted in favor of its passage in prior years. However, I cannot support blanket increases to military spending in a time of growing calls for austerity amidst inflation. I am also opposed to moving an NDAA bill that does not include important reforms that I’ve included as House amendments such as expanding access to reciprocal healthcare to South Korean Veterans who served alongside the United States or studies of the feasibility of establishing a strategic stockpile of materials necessary for the manufacture of batteries and battery cells and components. I share the view that our readiness and national security is of the utmost importance. However, Congress should use this must-pass legislation to reasonably fund DOD alongside meaningful reforms to the national security apparatus."

I was a little surprised to find my own congressman, Adam Schiff, on the list of NO votes as well. He sure has been getting progressives and progressiver lately. In fact, when I checked, I noticed his voting record for the 117th Congress is the 33rd most progressive— according to ProgressivePunch’s crucial vote scores.


2 commentaires

09 déc. 2022

Good article. I noticed that bill yesterday and tweeted about how keeping just 10% of it for domestic social programs would mean over $70billion to invest in Americans who really need it. I would bet at least 20-30% of the total will be waste anyway, since many of these weapons rot away in warehouses, never even used. I’d like to see a statistic on that.


09 déc. 2022

$chiff voted nay because he could (without tanking it). the democraps will never tank an NDAA -- so servile to the money as they have been since the early '80s.

I'd like to think Porter might have voted nay even if it meant the NDAA failed... but I don't think I can believe that.

but look at the numbers. if any member felt that their voters might be impressed by a no vote, they were free to cast it without the NDAA failing.

I'm only surprised that so few did that calculation.

If you don't realize how this kabuki works... you should.

And if you add in all the ancillary costs that are on the books under other categories, war…

bottom of page