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

Senate to Vote on Pentagon Spending, Endless War, Police Militarization, and More

By Alicia McBride, September 11, 2017


The week of September 11, the Senate will debate its proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act. FCNL is tracking a number of amendments on this military policy bill.

We expect votes on amendments to stop U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, to keep the U.S. from developing new nuclear weapons, and more.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) seeks to increase military spending to around $700 billion—around a $70 billion jump from current spending. The votes this week will not be the last word for Pentagon spending and policies for the year—-the House and the Senate will still have to reach agreement on the bill’s text, and separate funding bills must be passed to fulfill the targets set out by the NDAA. But the Senate debate will be a crucial moment for determining where the Congress, the president, and the nation head in the coming months and years on a wide range of national security goals and priorities.

Here are some of the amendments that we're tracking:

Key Amendments

Rein in Pentagon Spending

FCNL opposes amendment #826 to eliminate limits on both Pentagon and domestic spending established by the 2011 Budget Control Act. While FCNL supports more money for domestic programs, this amendment would likely lead to massive Pentagon spending increases without doing anything to fund other initiatives. Sen. Cotton (AR)

End the Endless War

Failed 36-61: FCNL supports an amendment to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force that give the president a blank check to carry out military action around the world without congressional debate. Sen. Paul (KY)

End U.S. Support for Saudi War in Yemen

FCNL supports amendment #585 to block weapons sales to Saudi Arabia until that country stops bombing civilians in Yemen and lifts the blockade on famine relief. Sen. Young (IN) Urge your senators to support this amendment.

Keep Tanks off Main Street

FCNL supports an amendment to restrict the Pentagon’s ability to transfer surplus military equipment to local police departments. Sen. Paul (KY)

Stop a New Nuclear Arms Race

FCNL supports a bipartisan amendment (#984) to block funding for a new nuclear missile, which if built or flown would violate the Reagan-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, until the Secretaries of Defense and State report whether such an approach is the best response and whether American allies support it. Sen. Warren (MA) and Lee (UT)

FCNL supports an amendment (#685) to make clear that no funds authorized by the bill could be used to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Sen. Warren (MA)

Alicia McBride

  • Communications Director

Alicia McBride interprets and oversees the presentation of the organization to external audiences, such as Quakers, donors, and grassroots advocates. She is the editor of FCNL's bi-monthly Washington Newsletter and oversees FCNL's email advocacy program, website, and print communications.