Afghanistan Victory! Results of House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Amendments
Peace Action was one of the few organizations to oppose the invasion of Afghanistan and we have been working ever since to end America’s longest war.
Last week, the House of Representatives took a big step in bringing all troops home. While considering the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the House passed an amendment that stated in part:
[requires] the President to complete the accelerated transition of combat operations from U.S. Armed Forces to the Government of Afghanistan no later than by the end of 2013; the accelerated transition of military and security operations by the end of 2014, including the redeployment of U.S. troops; and to pursue robust negotiations to address Afghanistan’s and the region’s security and stability.
Offered by long-time allies Representatives Walter Jones, R-North Carolina; Barbara Lee, D-California, and John Garamendi, D-California, the amendment passed overwhelming, 305-121 (you can see how your Rep. voted here). Only nine democrats voted against and a majority of Republicans supported this very clear message to the administration to end the war.
Your calls, emails and protests over the years have quickly swayed public opinion and pressured the administration and lawmakers to bring this war to a close.
Our work opposing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have made the U.S. Government much more weary of putting boots on the ground. Take Libya and the current situation in Syria as examples.
Additionally, other amendments to the NDAA we supported passed such as language making clear that there is no authorization for a war with Iran.
Unfortunately house Republican leaders did not allow amendments that might of cut wasteful weapons systems like nuclear weapons. There were a number of amendments that Peace Action took a stance on. You may see the outcomes below.
The next step on the NDAA will be when the Senate brings it to the floor sometime in the fall where we expect allies to offer similar Afghanistan language and opportunities to reduce the swelling Pentagon budget.
In the next few weeks the house will take up the “Defense Appropriations” bill where the Congress decides how much to fund projects that it has authorized. We expect amendments to cut unneeded, wasteful weapons systems.
Thanks again for your hard work and support. Let’s use this Afghanistan victory to help cut wasteful Pentagon spending.
Here are the results from last week:
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 is $54 billion above what current law (Budget Control Act) allows. It continues funding the war in Afghanistan, which we think should end as soon as possible. During tough budgetary times, this bloated bill takes from important domestic programs. Hence, Peace Action opposed the bill as a whole and urged a no vote.
Notwithstanding our opposition to the bill, we gave vote recommendations on various amendments listed below. These votes may be used for our yearly voting record and as considerations for endorsements.
The NDAA passed the House last week. We had a major victory with Afghanistan and some minor victories with Iran and Drones. We suffered defeats on nuclear weapons, Iran, Syria and top line cuts. Below is the outcome of each of the amendments we took a stance on:
NDAA bill FY2014 Passed 315-108
Floor #, Orig #, Sponsors, Summary, Peace Action Position, Outcome (linked to Roll Call vote)
2 #222 Blumenauer (OR) , Mulvaney (SC), Bentivolio, (MI) Reduces from 11 to 10 the statutory requirement for the number of operational carriers that the U.S. Navy must have. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 106-318
3 #115 Lummis (WY), Daines (MT), Cramer, Kevin (ND) Requires DOD to preserve currently active ICBM silos in warm status. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed 235-189
10 #118 McGovern (MA) , Jones (NC), Smith, Adam (WA), Lee, Barbara (CA), Garamendi (CA) Revised Requires the President to complete the accelerated transition of combat operations from U.S. Armed Forces to the Government of Afghanistan no later than by the end of 2013; the accelerated transition of military and security operations by the end of 2014, including the redeployment of U.S. troops; and to pursue robust negotiations to address Afghanistan’s and the region’s security and stability. Establishes the sense of Congress that should the President determine the necessity for post-2014 deployment of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Congress should vote to authorize such a presence and mission by no later than June 2014. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed 305-121
11 #196 Goodlatte (VA) Requires the government, in habeas proceedings for United States citizens apprehended in the United States pursuant to the AUMF, to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the citizen is an unprivileged enemy combatant and there is not presumption that the government’s evidence is accurate and authentic. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed 214-211
12 #71 Radel, Trey (FL) , Amash (MI), Massie (KY), Salmon, (AZ) Requires the Department of Defense to submit to the Congress a report every year containing: (1) the names of any U.S. citizens subject to military detention, (2) the legal justification for their continued detention, and (3) the steps the Executive Branch is taking to either provide them some judicial process, or release them. Requires that an unclassified version of the report be made available, and in addition, that the report must be made available to all members of Congress. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed by voice vote
13 #73 Smith, Adam (WA) , Gibson (NY) Amends Section 1021 of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under AUMF authority in the United States, territories or possessions by providing immediate transfer to trial and proceedings by a court established under Article III of the Constitution or by an appropriate state court. Strikes section 1022 of the same Act (which provided for mandatory military custody of covered parties). PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 200-226
18 #43 Radel, Trey (FL) , Amash (MI), Massie (KY), Salmon, (AZ) Prohibits the use of lethal military force, including the use of unmanned aircrafts, against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, absent narrow exceptions for imminent and significant national security threats. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Not offered
19 #23 Walorski, Jackie (IN) Prohibits the Secretary of Defense from using any funds authorized to the department for the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed 236-188
20 #74 Smith, Adam (WA) , Moran, James (VA), Nadler (NY) Provides framework to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by December 1, 2014 PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 174-249
21 #19 Turner (OH) Requires the President of the United States to convey to Congress the details of any proposed deals with the Russian Federation concerning the missile defense or nuclear arms of the United States. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed 239-182
22 #40 Holt (NJ) Strikes all of subtitle C of title II except section 237 (Iron Dome program). PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 61-362
23 #217 Polis (CO) Revised Limits funding for advanced procurement of inefficient ground-based interceptor rocket motor sets, and the costly refurbishment of Missile Field 1 at Fort Greely, Alaska, until the Secretary of Defense makes certain certifications to Congress, including that the Commander of the United States Northern Command has full confidence in the homeland missile defense system. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 146-278
25 #21 McCollum (MN) Prohibits any funds authorized in the bill from being used to sponsor Army National Guard professional wrestling sports sponsorships or motor sports sponsorships. The amendment does not prohibit recruiters from making direct, personal contact with secondary school students and other prospective recruits. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 134-289
32 #91 Nolan (MN) Reduces total funds authorized in this Act by $60 Billion. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 71-353
33 #136 Cooper (TN) Reinstates the New START funding. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 195-229
36 #132 Gibson (NY) , Garamendi (CA) Strikes section 1251, Sense of Congress on the Conflict in Syria. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 123-301
37 #210 Coffman (CO) , Griffith (VA), Polis (CO), Blumenauer (OR) Directs the President of the United States to end the permanent basing of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) in Vilseck, Germany and return the Brigade Combat Team currently stationed in Europe to the United States, without permanent replacement, leaving one Brigade Combat Team and one Combat Aviation Brigade–nothing in this amendment should be construed as directing the removal of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, nor certain quick-reaction forces. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 110-313
39 #247 Van Hollen, Chris (MD) , Moran, James (VA), Mulvaney (SC), Woodall (GA) Revised Matches the President’s budget request for Overseas Contingency Operations. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Failed 191-232
104 #198 Conyers (MI) Clarifies that the assessment mandated in Section 1036(3) includes associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners for purposes of interpreting the scope of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
106 #101 Braley (IA) , Jones (NC) Directs the President to submit to Congress a report on the long-term costs of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
116 #17 Lewis, John (GA) Require the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, to post to cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to each American taxpayer on the Department of Defense’s website. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
122 #273 Lynch (MA) Requires an assessment of the Afghan National Security Force’s (ANSF) ability to provide proper Operations & Maintenance for U.S.-funded ANSF infrastructure projects after January 1, 2015. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
124 #274 Johnson, Hank (GA) , Lee, Barbara (CA) Prohibits funding to construct permanent military bases in Afghanistan. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
134 #63 Rigell (VA) Reaffirms Congress’ constitutional war powers by clearly stating that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any use of military force. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
129 #120 Ros-Lehtinen (FL) Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to deploy assets, personnel and resources to the Joint Interagency Task Force South, in coordination with SOUTHCOM, to combat transnational criminal organization, drug trafficking, bulk shipments of narcotics or currency, narco-terrorism, human trafficking and the Iranian presence in SOUTHCOM’s AOR. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
135 #114 Ellison (MN) Prohibits the authorization of Defense Department funds for tear gas and other riot control items to Middle East and North African countries undergoing democratic transition unless the Secretary of Defense certifies to the appropriate Congressional committees that the security forces of such countries are not using excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful and organized dissent. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
136 #261 Broun (GA) Prohibits the Department of Defense from using a drone to kill a citizen of the United States unless they are actively engaged in combat against the United States. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
137 #168 DeLauro (CT) , Granger (TX), Moran, James (VA), Kingston (GA), Ellison (MN), Wolf (VA), Connolly (VA) Prohibits the Defense Department from continuing to purchase equipment from the Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport unless the Secretary of Defense certifies that the firm is cooperating with a Defense Contract Audit Agency audit, not delivering S-300 missile defense batteries to Syria, and that no new contracts have been signed by the firm with Syria since January 1, 2013. Provides a national security waiver with a requirement that the Secretary justify the waiver in a report to Congress 30 days prior to the purchase of any equipment from Rosoboronexport. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed 423-0
138 #185 Connolly (VA) , Granger (TX), Diaz-Balart, Mario (FL), Gingrey (GA), Sires (NJ), Carter (TX) Directs the President to sell 66 F-16 C/D aircraft to Taiwan. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
139 #249 Roskam (IL) Requires the President to submit to the appropriate committees every 90 days a report that identifies that the United States has taken all necessary steps to ensure that Israel possesses and maintains an independent capability to remove existential threats to its security and defend its vital national interests. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
144 #55 Gosar (AZ) States that Congress fully supports Israel’s lawful exercise of self-defense, including actions to halt regional aggression. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
146 #197 Conyers (MI) , Jones (NC), Johnson, Hank (GA), Ellison (MN) Clarifies that nothing in the bill shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
147 #30 Walorski, Jackie (IN) , Lamborn (CO) Expresses the sense of Congress in support of fully implementing U.S. and international sanctions on Iran. Reiterates that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability, and declares that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the survival and security of the State of Israel. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
148 #228 Fortenberry (NE) Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish a strategy to modernize the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program in order to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials in the Middle East and North Africa region. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed en bloc
168 #96 Franks (AZ) Establishes the sense of Congress that the paramount security concern of the United States is the ongoing and illegal nuclear weapons programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. PEACE ACTION OPPOSES Passed en bloc
170 #239 Garamendi (CA) Withholds the $2.6 billion dollars in additional funding that have been added to the Afghan National Security Forces Fund this year for acquisition of aircraft, vehicles and other equipment until the Secretary of Defense submits a report to Congress confirming when these systems would be delivered, the ANSF’s capabilities of operating and maintaining these systems, and the impact of such acquisitions on the future US costs of funding the ANSF. PEACE ACTION SUPPORTS Passed En Bloc