(CD) — A diverse coalition of more than 30 progressive advocacy groups on Tuesday condemned the bipartisan, $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act as a “blank check” to the military-industrial complex that does nothing to restrain President Donald Trump’s reckless foreign policy.
With a House vote on the proposed NDAA expected as early as Wednesday, the groups urged lawmakers to vote against the measure.
“The NDAA is a massive blank check,” said the coalition, which includes Win Without War, MoveOn, and CodePink.
“The authorization of $738 billion is obscene,” the groups added. “Further inflating the Pentagon’s overstuffed coffers does not make us safer—it perpetuates a system that treats military intervention as the solution to all world problems. Meanwhile, every dollar spent by the Pentagon is a dollar not spent on education, healthcare, or climate. When critics attack social spending by asking ‘how will you pay for it?’ this will be our answer.”
Bipartisan House and Senate negotiations over the 2020 NDAA stripped out nearly every provision progressives fought to include.
The final product increases the Pentagon’s budget by $22 billion and gives Trump his long-sought “Space Force” while doing nothing to end U.S. complicity in Yemen, reverse Trump’s transgender military ban, or prevent a war with Iran.
“The results of negotiations for the final text of the NDAA are disastrous,” the coalition said. “The FY2020 NDAA conference report has been so severely stripped of vital House-passed provisions essential to keeping the current administration in check that it no longer represents a compromise, but a near complete capitulation.”
“It is a blank check for endless wars, fuel for the further militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and a gift to Donald Trump,” the groups added. “Its failures not only underscore how critical it is that we continue building progressive grassroots movements for a better foreign policy—it calls into question the defense authorization process altogether.”
☎️ CALL NOW! The House votes TODAY on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and it’s a $738 billion present of endless war from Congress to the Trump administration. ? Tell your Rep to vote NO on the #NDAA2020: https://t.co/lTv6gHCtfw pic.twitter.com/Erdik9FPV8
— Win Without War (@WinWithoutWar) December 11, 2019
Republicans and Trump have enthusiastically celebrated the legislation, which was unveiled (pdf) on Monday.
“Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Congress—don’t delay this anymore! I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!”
“The Pentagon’s budget has been too large for too long,” Warren tweeted Tuesday. “I cannot support a defense bill that’s a $738 billion Christmas present to giant defense contractors and undermines our values and security.”
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us