Partisan Politics Undermines Military Defense Funding

Jul 12, 2019 Issues: Defense and Homeland Security

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after House Democrats/ passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 by a partisan line vote of 220 - 197. Lucas opposed the legislation which underfunds the U.S. Department of Defense, includes partisan provisions, and lacked historical bipartisan support.

“For nearly six decades, the NDAA was a symbol of Congress’ commitment to putting party politics aside and upholding the safety and security of our nation’s defense and the needs of the brave men and women who serve in the ranks of our military,” said Congressman Lucas. “Unfortunately, partisan provisions in this bill have swindled our armed services and defrauded the bill of bipartisan support.

Lucas continued stating, “Ignoring advice from top military brass, including individuals such as former Secretary of Defense Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford, calling for 3-5% growth, an increase of technological programs, and the strengthening of nuclear deterrent programs, the NDAA instead undermines our nation’s defense. Reducing personnel accounts by $1.2 billion, cutting programs critical to deterring Russian and Chinese aggression, and preventing the Trump Administration from securing the Southern border, House Democrats are instead using our nation’s military as a political pawn in their dispute with the President.

Oklahoma’s 58,271 active duty, reserve, and civilian defense personnel deserve Congress’ bipartisan support and our nation deserves a Congress who upholds its duty to provide for the common defense. I applaud Sen. Inhofe’s leadership providing such support in the Senate and look forward to Congress’ return to its bipartisan commitment.”

Background: The Senate passed the NDAA with a bipartisan vote of 86 – 8. The Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 supports a total of $750 billion for national defense programs, including a 3.1% pay raise for 2.15 million troops, maintained a secure and credible nuclear deterrent, and provided resources for the modernization of our nation’s military technology and capabilities.

The House-passed NDAA cuts personnel accounts by $1.2 billion, reduces nuclear modernization and recapitalization programs, forces the Trump Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and bans construction project on the border.

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