Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act

September 23, 2021
Press Release

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

“The pandemic has caused unimaginable harm for people in Minnesota and across the country. Thousands of Minnesotans in my district cannot afford to meet their basic needs. Now is not the time to spend billions of dollars to bolster our defense budget while millions of Americans remain housing and food insecure. I am shocked that this Congress continues to spend over $700 billion on wasteful weapons contracts and Pentagon waste, and then turns around and calls for cuts to programs that help the poor, the elderly and the sick. We should be investing in the American people, not in weapons manufacturers. 

“Despite these insurmountable flaws, I was proud to introduce and pass amendments that uphold universal human rights and limit our global military presence. 

“We have a moral responsibility to reduce our defense spending and create a budget that reflects our values. For those reasons, I oppose this bill.” 

Rep. Omar’s amendments that passed in the NDAA include:  

Omar #62 – requires reporting on recent security assistance to Mali, Guinea, and Chad 

Omar #63 – adds reporting on human rights and civilian casualties to the Afghanistan Commission created by the bill 

Omar #781 – requires strategy on US policy towards the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Garcia/Omar #765 – requires impact assessments on the humanitarian consequences of sanctions 

Omar #817 – requires a strategy for addressing root causes of human trafficking and slavery in Libya, and holds perpetrators accountable