Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on National Defense Authorization Act

December 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“At a time when Minnesotans have unmet needs in healthcare, education and housing, it is simply unconscionable to pass a NDAA bill that continues to fund wasteful Pentagon spending to the tune of $738 billion. This bill commits the U.S. to endless involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, continues funding for endless war under the 2001 AUMF, and does nothing to prevent the Administration from launching a disastrous war with Iran.
“Despite its deep flaws, I am glad the National Defense Authorization Act includes some of my priorities and the priorities of my district. I am grateful that all of the amendments I introduced and passed in the House version of the NDAA were included in the final bill. The final version contains my amendments requiring reporting on the process of sharing the Terrorist Screening Database with foreign countries, including human rights abusers. It also requires the Pentagon to provide guidance for contractors and servicemembers who witness gross human rights violations, requires reporting on the costs of overseas military operations, and does not authorize permanent military bases in Somalia—all based on amendments I introduced. Lastly, the final text includes a bill I am an original cosponsor of, the Liberian Immigrant Fairness Act, which would give thousands of Liberians in my district protection from deportation. It was introduced by David Cicilline and originally authored by my predecessor Keith Ellison.
“I am proud that all of our amendments were included, but it past time we stop putting our servicemembers and civilians in harm’s way by writing blank checks for endless wars—and passing budgets that are not a reflection of our values. For these reasons, I plan to vote no.”