Today, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after voting against the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
"The brave men and women who serve our country in the armed forces deserve our full support. My vote today in no way undermines my unyielding commitment to preserving our national security, and ensuring our military has the resources that it needs to meet ongoing and emerging threats around the world. I am deeply concerned that this bill would set a dangerous precedent by promoting uncertainty for our military at a time when it desperately needs reliable support.
"The budget gimmick contained in the NDAA circumvents sequestration funding caps by authorizing billions more than requested to the Defense overseas contingency operations account, and then using this surplus as a slush fund. This approach to budgeting overcompensates defense spending at the expense of essential domestic programs that are the lifeline for the people I represent. It is woefully unfair to allow DOD to exceed sequestration funding levels in the name of national security, while not also raising funding levels for necessary domestic programs which provide security for the most vulnerable in our society.
"Ultimately, we must eliminate sequestration caps across the board, for both defense and domestic spending programs, and enact a long-term comprehensive budget. Since this bill will be vetoed by President Obama, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a national defense authorization bill which appropriately funds all necessary government services and obligations."