House Votes on Climate, Pentagon Spending, Islamophobia, War in Military Policy Bill
Every representative in the U.S. House voted on amendments to a military policy bill that could rein in Pentagon spending, put the brakes on a new nuclear arms race, and stop an accidental war with Iran.
Why These Votes Matter
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 has already been written. But amendments to the bill can force significant policy changes and put members of Congress on record. Even amendments that lose can influence future policy directions.
House and Senate panels responsible for crafting this bill have added around $70 billion more to the Pentagon budget. Will that amount stay? Will there be restrictions on how it's used? The votes on amendments is where these questions and more will be decided.
Stop a New Nuclear Arms Race
Failed 173-249: FCNL supports amendment #311 to provide a smarter, sounder response to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, instead of the House’s misguided rush to build a treaty-violating system that neither the military, diplomats, nor our allies want. Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Lee (CA), Ellison (MN)
Failed 169-254: FCNL supports amendment #314 to slow the race to spend tens of billions of dollars on a dangerous, destabilizing Long-Range Stand-Off nuclear cruise missile. Defense Sec. Mattis is not convinced this weapon is necessary, and former Defense Sec. Perry says there is scant justification for building it. Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Smith (WA), et. al.
End U.S. Support for Saudi War in Yemen
Adopted en bloc: FCNL supports amendment #386 to that stop U.S. funding for military operations in Yemen, except for what is specifically allowed by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Rep. Davidson (OH)
Failed 208-217: FCNL opposes amendment #141 to give the Trump administration carte blanche to expand Islamophobia and profiling of Muslims. Rep. Franks (AZ)
Address Climate Change
Failed 185-234: FCNL opposes amendment #390 to deny that climate change is a threat to national security. Reps. Perry (PA) and Buck (CO)
Other Amendments We Are Following
Rein in Pentagon spending: Failed 73-351. FCNL supports amendment #245 to cut the military budget by 1%. Reps. Lee (CA) and Polis (CO)
Prevent war with Iran: FCNL supports amendment #132 to assess ways the U.S. could prevent an accidental war in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. Reps. Conyers (MI) and Gallego (AZ)
Stop Syrian violence: Adopted en bloc. FCNL supports amendment #128 to ban the sale of man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, to Syria. Reps. Yoho (FL) and Conyers (MI)
End Support for War in Yemen: Adopted en bloc. FCNL supports amendment #159 to keep U.S. troops from being sent to Yemen. Rep. Nolan (MN)
Close Guantanamo: Failed 167-257.FCNL supports amendment #33 to allow spending to transfer or release prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Rep. Nadler (NY)
A full text of all amendments is available here.
What Happens Next?
Later this summer or fall, the Senate will follow a similar process on their version of the bill. A House-Senate conference committee will reconcile the two versions before a final bill can go to the president for his signature.
Throughout this process, your voice matters in what members of Congress do. The best way to influence what policies get into the bills, however, is at this amendment stage. Take advantage of this opportunity to raise your voice to affect how the U.S. uses, or doesn't use, its military power to advance a safer world.