Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) deplores today’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R 2670) by the House of Representatives.
Contact Tim McHugh: email@example.com, 202-903-2515
The House NDAA authorizes a staggering $886 billion in military spending in FY2024. The bill failed to include vital provisions to rein in unchecked Pentagon spending and price gouging by defense contractors, limit U.S. military involvement overseas, prevent the use and transfer of indiscriminate weapons, and limit U.S. military funding for regimes that commit human rights abuses.
“This bill continues to double down on militarism and unchecked spiraling funding, an approach that hasn’t led to a more peaceful or just world,” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL’s associate general secretary for policy and advocacy. “It’s disheartening that, in areas that have historically garnered bipartisan debate or consideration, lawmakers opted to go the opposite direction and include amendments that further denigrate this bill.”
The House NDAA also failed to include a provision to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF). Despite strong bipartisan support for repeal, an amendment led by Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Chip Roy (TX-21) was not made in order and did not receive a vote.
Last spring, FCNL celebrated the Senate’s historic, first-time vote to repeal the outdated and overstretched 2002 Iraq AUMF, which green-lit the U.S. invasion more than 20 years ago. The Biden administration also supports repealing this outdated war authorization.
“It is deeply disappointing that the House was not given the opportunity to consider and vote on repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF,” said Heather Brandon-Smith, FCNL’s interim director for foreign policy. “Bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress support taking this outdated war authorization off the books. After more than two decades of war, Congress should be reclaiming its constitutional responsibilities over matters of war and peace, not avoiding them.”
Considered a “must-pass” bill, the NDAA is one of the few major pieces of legislation Congress has passed annually for more than six decades. However, lawmakers’ unprecedented move to push forward harsh ideological restrictions on polarizing social issues while holding key provisions hostage led to chaos in the final hours before the vote.
The final legislation, passed 219-210, includes attacks on LGBTQ+ servicemembers and measures eliminating diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for military personnel.
In its current form, the bill has little chance of surviving in the Senate. FCNL is committed to identifying, exposing, and eliminating white supremacy, racism, and all forms of oppression and discrimination. We’ll focus our attention on our senators as they craft their version of the bill to ensure that the most harmful provisions passed today won’t become law and that measures that could positively impact peace—such as the repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF—are included.