U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement today on her vote against the National Defense Authorization Act.
"Our men and women in uniform sacrifice daily for the country we love to keep Americans safe, both at home and abroad. As a senator from the state with the largest number of military personnel in the country, I support providing them with the necessary tools to keep our country safe in a world of growing national security threats.
"While I support the vast majority of the programs in the National Defense Authorization Act, I cannot support the Administration's request for new, unchecked powers to develop and administer a low-yield nuclear weapons program. Low-yield nuclear weapons could have explosive power comparable to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the development of these weapons will make us less safe by increasing the likelihood of a nuclear escalation. Additionally, Congress cannot cede its constitutional responsibility to provide rigorous oversight of a nuclear program to this Administration.
"There are many programs and resources included in this bill that are vital and that I wholeheartedly support. Our service-members most certainly deserve a pay raise to ensure that they are able to provide for their families. They deserve to be outfitted with tools that offer protection to all of us. They deserve research that will allow them to provide a safe and secure nation for decades into the future. It is deeply unfortunate that we cannot vote on a clean bill to reauthorize all of those programs and more, and that reflects our shared support for our Armed Forces. But I cannot support this bill that green lights a nuclear program, chips away at our credibility as stewards of peace in the world and further abdicates Congressional responsibility and oversight. The American people deserve better."