Democrats Prioritize Politics Over Troops

July 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C.  - Today, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in a party-line vote. This is the 59th consecutive NDAA to pass the House. The defense bill is historically one of the most bipartisan pieces of legislation passed by Congress, but this year’s passed with zero Republican votes due to the unusually partisan nature of the bill.

Congressman Lamborn issued the following statement in response to this unprecedented turn of events:

"I am terribly disappointed at the hyper-partisanship of the House Democrats, overturning the proud bipartisan tradition of the NDAA and replacing it with a wish list of progressive policies, and not funding the Department of Defense at the appropriate topline. While there are many good provisions I was able to include by working with my Democratic colleagues, the final product is a partisan disaster. The Senate version passed their Armed Service Committee by a vote of 25-2, and it passed on the Senate Floor 86-8. Last year, House Republicans allowed more Democrat amendments to the bill than Republican, and it passed the House 351-66. This year, the Democrats bill pandered so hard to their far-left progressive Members that they failed to get a single Republican vote. It is clear who runs the Democratic Conference: the progressives and the socialists.

"As Secretary Mattis and Chairman Dunford testified, we need a $750 billion topline to both maintain our readiness even as we modernize our military to counter the growing threats from our near-peer competitors like Russia and China. Democrats ignore this and would make us choose between readiness and modernizing to face emerging threats. Among many other problems, this bill inexplicably cuts $103 million from our Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent—the backbone of our nuclear deterrent, cuts $260 million from 5G communications—the key to our strategic competition with China, forces us into compliance with the INF Treaty which Russia has violated for years but without exceptions for our missile defense systems, cuts a missile defense test of the SM-3 IIA interceptor against an ICBM target, cuts the new satellite constellation to help warn against modern missile threats, includes backdoor provisions that seek to close Guantanamo Bay and move the detainees to the U.S., and does nothing about the crisis at the border. It is weak on Russia, weak on China, weak on terrorism, and just plain bad governance.

"Instead of working with Republicans to produce another bipartisan defense bill, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Smith drove this bill to the Left to try and get votes from their progressive Members who never vote for defense bills. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass a National Defense Authorization Act worthy of our troops and their families."