|Rep. Keith Ellison Votes Against Misplaced Priorities and Excessive Defense Spending|
|May 18, 2012|
WASHINGTON--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) today voted against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) citing its misplaced priorities and excessive spending.
The NDAA provides $88.5 billion for the Afghanistan War and delays the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The bill also authorizes several billion more in defense spending than the President and the Joint Chiefs requested. An unnecessary East Coast missile defense system that the Pentagon did not request is included, as well as more spending for the F-35B fighter jet that has been plagued with delays and cost overruns.
“Although three of my amendments were included in the final bill there are still significant flaws in the final product. For example, The U.S. has diminished Al Qaeda’s strength so it is time to decrease our military presence in Afghanistan and bring our troops home as soon as safely possible,” said Rep. Ellison. “It’s unfortunate that Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) Amendment failed since it would have provided funds for the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors from Afghanistan. This is the path we should be taking.”
“We should not continue wasteful spending on a defense strategy that does not meet 21st-century threats,” the congressman added. “Our security spending priorities must match modern threats. It’s time Republicans applied their promises of fiscal responsibility to their approach to defense.”
These are the congressman’s bipartisan amendments included in the final bill: