7/12/19 — The House of Representatives voted today to approve the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the military, but included a key amendment, that if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would block the president from waging war on the country of Iran, without prior authorization from Congress. All but seven Democrats voted for the bill with 27 Republican representatives joining.
The North Coast’s representative, Jared Huffman, who has voted against national defense authorizations, voted for this bill, citing the inclusion of the amendments against war with Iran as the reason, saying, ““While I still have serious concerns that we’re spending too much with this year’s NDAA bill, I recognize that this bill is a rare opportunity to lock in long-overdue policy reforms.”
The bill included a few other provisions, outlined here by Politico:
It also would clarify that the broadly worded 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which underpins numerous U.S. military operations, doesn’t apply to Iran. And it would preserve the president’s authority to use military force under the War Powers Resolution.Politico
Here is a press release from his office explaining his reasoning.
Rep. Huffman Votes to Pass National Defense Authorization ActU.S Representative Jared Huffman
Washington, D.C.- Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted for the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a responsible national defense bill that authorizes the funding needed for a smart national defense strategy while restoring Congress’s role in oversight of the Pentagon and the Trump administration. The FY 2020 NDAA was approved by the House 220-197.
“In years past, I have voted against defense authorization bills because they have strained our over-tapped national budget to inflate the Pentagon’s budget,” said Rep.Huffman. “While I still have serious concerns that we’re spending too much with this year’s NDAA bill, I recognize that this bill is a rare opportunity to lock in long-overdue policy reforms. This NDAA is different: the bill the House considered today advances many of my constituents’ highest priorities, like helping to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran, ending American support for the Saudi war in Yemen, blocking using Department of Defense funds on a border wall, stopping a new nuclear arms race, allwhile funding a strong and smart national defense strategy. For these reasons, I ultimately decided to vote for this year’s defense authorization bill.”
In addition to the broader progressive defense strategies included in the bill, the House approved Rep. Huffman’s amendment to once again block a “zombie” earmark requiring thatan American military base in Germany purchase Pennsylvania coal for its energy needs.
Rep. Huffman also secured an amendment to uphold the memorandum of agreement between the Lytton Rancheria and Sonoma County, take lands owned by the Tribe into trust for housing and other purposes, and permanently prohibit the Tribe from using those lands or other land in Sonoma County for casino gaming.
This NDAA bill authorizes $733 billion for the Department of Defense and the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy, as well as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), and is $17 billion below the President’s bloated budget request.
Specifically, the NDAA:
Helps prevents an unauthorized, unconstitutional war with Iran.
Ends United States support for the war in Yemen through military assistance and arms sales;
Supports the New START Treaty and stopping another nuclear arms race;
Blocks the implementation of the President’s discriminatory ban on transgender servicemembers; and
Prohibits future military parades and the use of our men and women in uniform as props for political purposes, such as Trump’s expensive and divisive Fourth of July celebration.