Schakowsky Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

December 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, released the following statement upon final passage of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act:

“In July, I voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) out of the House because it contained numerous provisions Democrats have been working to achieve for over a decade. I want to applaud the work of my dear friend, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), and my colleagues on that committee, who all fought tooth and nail to maintain our provisions in the final version of this bill negotiated with Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK). In those negotiations we achieved many victories such as securing Paid Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) for all government employees; eliminating the ‘Widow’s Tax’; and raising soldiers’ pay. These are great wins for soldiers and their families.

“However, numerous policy priorities I consider urgent were stripped from the bill by Senate Republicans. The final bill does not do enough to address the threat posed by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to public health and military families. The bill no longer ends arms sales to Saudi Arabia, allowing them to continue their brutal campaign in Yemen. The NDAA does nothing to prevent President Trump from starting an unnecessary war with Iran. The terribly outdated 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq remains in place. And funding for dangerous low-yield nuclear weapons will continue to flow.

“Due to these flaws in the legislation, I voted no on this bill.”