WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Subcommittee Ranking Members Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Andy Kim (D-N.J.) issued the following statement regarding their intention to vote against passage of H.R. 2670, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24).
“The work of House Democrats in crafting the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 demonstrates our strong and abiding commitment to our national defense and national security by ensuring that those who serve and their families—the people who are the heart of our national defense—get the resources and respect they need and deserve.
“We worked with our colleagues in committee to pass a bill in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote that invested in the greatest sources of America’s national strength: service members and their families, innovation and technology, allies and partners, and our defense industrial base and military readiness.
“The bill we passed out of committee sent a clear, united message to our allies and partners, global competitors, and the American people that democracy still works, and Congress is still functional.
“We made clear that we are dedicated to recruiting and retaining the strongest, most diverse fighting force and ensuring that everyone, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals, would have the same chance to serve without having to work harder or sacrifice more for the same opportunities.
“That bill no longer exists. What was once an example of compromise and functioning government has become an ode to bigotry and ignorance. Attacks on reproductive rights, access to basic health care, and efforts to address our country’s history of racism and marginalization of huge swaths of our country will worsen our recruitment and retention crisis, make our military less capable, and do grievous harm to our national defense and national security.
“For these reasons, we cannot and will not vote for the NDAA as amended on the House floor.”