For Immediate Release
DC – Tracy Manzer (202) 225-3531 / (202) 538-0641 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties) issued the following statement following the House of Representatives passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017. The Congresswoman was joined by 146 members in opposing the legislation.
“In the end, I could not support this bill for the same reasons that I voted against it in Committee. It failed to make the difficult decisions necessary to promote our national defense, it failed to provide greater accountability to the taxpayers, and it failed to recognize the basic civil rights of all Americans. The myriad of poison pill riders -- from allowing contractors to engage in discrimination and rip off federal taxpayers, to releasing tens of thousands of handguns to the streets with no background checks -- make this bill impossible to support. For these reasons, and many more, I voted no today. And for these reasons, and many more, I will continue to fight so the NDAA reflects our values as a nation and the value of the taxpayer dollar.”
“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have done my best to work with the majority in finding common ground and advocating for a serious Defense Authorization that protects Americans without needless poison pill riders. Simply put, this bill is not a serious proposal. Instead of fulfilling our duty in fully funding our servicemen and women, this bill plays shell games with $18 billion in taxpayers’ funds. We are, once again, robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to sidestep the Bipartisan Budget Act reached just last year. I’m all for Congress revising budget caps and looking for waste and areas where spending and support should be increased. That support, however, should not come at the expense of crucial, existing programs and we must be willing to apply this same system of review for all federal agencies, many of which have been starved from offering assistance to hardworking Americans here at home.
“Beyond the blatant budgetary gimmicks, this legislation is full of riders that are not meant to provide for our national defense and have no place in such an important piece of legislation. That is why I was one of two members to stand against this flawed bill in the Armed Services Committee last month.
“This week on the floor we had one more opportunity to fix this legislation to gain my support and the support of many other members who opposed the bill. We were not, however, even offered an opportunity to vote on amendments that would have addressed those concerns. Our Republican colleagues refused to allow votes on amendments to protect LGBT rights, protect our environment, and to provide equality in Selective Service – a provision altered in the dead of night by the House Rules Committee.”