1. Update
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism, Middle East & Iran, Nuclear Weapons

House Votes on Climate, Pentagon Spending, Islamophobia, War in Military Policy Bill

By Alicia McBride, July 14, 2017

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.

Update House Votes to Increase Pentagon Spending 

The House of Representatives voted this week for a military policy bill that increases Pentagon spending by $70 billion – a number that is higher than even the $54 billion increase that President Trump has requested.

Press Release House Votes to De-Fund U.S. Military Support for Saudi-led War in Yemen  

FCNL applauds House votes to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen’s civil war

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end U.S. funding for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen. The House took this step by approving legislative language in a military policy bill that, if passed into law, would require the Trump administration to stop providing aerial refueling for Saudi and other coalition aircraft, intelligence sharing, and other forms of military support for this indiscriminate war that has killed thousands and plunged Yemen to the cusp of famine.

Update House Rejects Islamophobic Proposal 

The U.S. House of Representatives today delivered a strong rebuke to lawmakers seeking to expand the Trump administration’s religious profiling and Islamophobic policies.

Background Climate Win in the NDAA 

On July 13th, the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus shaped U.S. climate policy when their votes contributed to a victory during the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Key Amendments

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)

Counter Islamophobia

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.

Alicia McBride

  • Director of Quaker Leadership

Alicia McBride leads FCNL’s work to nurture, expand, and deepen relationships with Friends across the United States. She also works to ensure that everyone engaged with the organization understands the spiritual basis of FCNL’s advocacy. She oversees FCNL events at the Quaker Welcome Center as well as Annual Meeting and the Quaker Public Policy Institute.