Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement to National Defense Authorization Act Vote

July 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement after voting against the National Defense Authorization Act:

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is an improvement over years past. In addition to limiting the Administration’s ability to start a disastrous war with Iran, I was proud to introduce and pass amendments to ensure our Pentagon spending benefits all Americans, to uphold universal human rights, and to limit our global military presence.”

“While I am encouraged that we built a foundation for improvements to our defense policy, I cannot in good conscience vote to spend billions more on defense than we do on all other nondiscretionary programs combined. We should be using some of this money to address the housing shortage in this country. We should be investing in education, expanding health care to everyone, and tackling the existential threat of climate change. We cannot prioritize our needs at home without reining in our war spending.”

“I hope we can build on this progress to produce a bill that meets our national security needs, while prioritizing the everyday needs of the American people.”

Rep. Omar’s amendments include:

Amendment 17 requires the Department of Defense to create a report outlining the financial costs and national security benefits of most overseas military operations, including permanent bases. 

Amendment 300 requires oversight contractors to report suspicion of grave violations of human rights if they witness them.

Amendment 301 prohibits the establishment of any permanent bases or installations in Somalia.                                                  

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also co-sponsored the following amendments in the NDAA:

Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) amendment 30, which imposes Magnitsky sanctions on abuses against the Rohingya in Burma and supports transitional justice efforts.

Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) amendment 49, which reduces funding for the OCO by $16.8 billion.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) amendment 75, which requires reporting on obstacles to protecting Afghan and Iraqi allies through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.

Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) amendment 217, which expresses the sense of Congress that diplomacy is essential to addressing the North Korea nuclear program and that the US should pursue an official end to the Korean War.

Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) amendment 423, which prohibits unauthorized military force in or against Iran.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) amendment 75, which requires reporting on obstacles to protecting Afghan and Iraqi allies through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) amendment 438, which provides a one-year prohibition on the sale of air-to-ground munitions that have been used in Yemen to Saudi Arabia or the UAE.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) amendment 439, which requires boards to change dishonorable discharges for people who were discharged because of their sexual orientation to honorable discharges.

Read Amendment 17 here.

Read Amendment 300 here.

Read Amendment 301 here.