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Boyle Statement on Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA

July 22, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) released the following statement:

"Yesterday in the House of Representatives there were 7+ hours of votes on the National Defense Authorization Act and various amendments to it. There were three votes, however, that were controversial and I wanted to state how I voted on each one and why. 

First, on the National Defense Authorization Act itself, I voted AGAINST this bill. I was one of only forty-two Democrats to oppose it. It authorized over $700 billion in Defense spending. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, US military spending has increased by more than $100,000,000,000, almost 20 percent. I do not believe this increase in military spending can be justified, especially given the trillions of dollars of needs we now have combatting COVID-19. 

Second, on the Pocan Amendment, this would have cut the Defense budget by 10% across the board. While I favor reducing military spending, I strongly believe across the board cuts to every program is a poor approach. There are some military programs that are completely unnecessary and should be eliminated entirely. There are others, however, that are worthwhile and should not be reduced. A better approach would be to go program by program and evaluate them on their merits. 

In particular, I was concerned that the Pocan amendment would have meant a $216 million cut to military housing, a $470 million cut to the dependent education program, and a $900 million cut to defense nuclear environmental cleanup. It would also endanger funding for PFAS cleanup, an important issue nationally, but especially locally in our area, as we have tremendous PFAS remediation needs. Over the last several years I have personally fought to increase funds for PFAS cleanup and believe more needs to be done in this area, not less. 

Finally, on the Omar Amendment, this mandated an end to American troops fighting in Afghanistan by next year. I voted FOR this amendment. Afghanistan is now the longest war in American history. We have been there for almost two decades. It is time to bring it to an end."