Democrats Holding Critical NDAA Hostage For Unrelated Partisan Policies

‘The National Defense Authorization Act Is The Most Important Bill We Pass Every Year,’ But Democrat Leaders In Congress Are Holding This Year’s Bill Hostage To Partisan Priorities That Are Unrelated To American Security


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Republicans spent months urging the Democratic majority not to neglect this year’s National Defense Authorization Act; not to leave our Armed Forces to the last minute. Five months ago, I called on our colleagues to process the defense bill as soon as possible. But instead, the majority has prioritized not just gigantic partisan spending sprees, but also a parade of mid-level nominations. The Democratic Leader didn’t even bring a Senate NDAA to the floor, forcing Senators Reed and Inhofe to conduct an informal conference with the House with a weakened hand…. on Democrats’ watch, the Senate schedule has not matched the nation’s needs. We have spent time on less important matters while both the authorization and the funding for our servicemembers have languished until the 11th hour.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/06/2022)

  • “Even now, House and Senate Democrats are still obstructing efforts to close out the NDAA by trying to jam in unrelated items with no relationship to defense. We’re talking about a grab bag of miscellaneous pet priorities — like making our financial system more sympathetic to illegal drugs, or the phony, partisan permitting-‘reform’-in-name-only language that already failed to pass the Senate this year. If Democrats wanted these controversial items so badly, they had two years to move them across the floor. Heck, they could have scheduled those matters for votes this week. But no — we’re doing more mid-level nominations, while Democrats keep half-threatening to take our Armed Forces hostage over these extraneous matters…. My colleagues across the aisle need to cut the unrelated hostage-taking and put a bipartisan NDAA on the floor.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/06/2022)


Democrat Leaders Are Trying To Use The NDAA As A Vehicle For Controversial Policies Democrats Want But Have Nothing To Do With National Security

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Is Trying To Add A Partisan Provision Designed As Payback For A Vote For Their Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree Over The Summer

“The push by Sen. Joe Manchin III to overhaul the nation’s permitting process for infrastructure projects could get some last-ditch help from the House of Representatives, in its annual defense policy measure, according to two people familiar with the matter. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been in talks with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) about attaching a version of Manchin’s permitting bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), according to the two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.” (“Democrats Try To Salvage Manchin’s Side Deal On Energy Projects,” The Washington Post, 12/04/2022)

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Is Trying To Bog The Bill Down With Democrats’ Obsession Over Marijuana Policy

“Schumer … plan[s] to attach this [significant marijuana legislation] to a must-pass year-end bill like the annual National Defense Authorization Act.” (“Senate Plots Pro-Pot Move For Lame-Duck,” Axios, 12/03/2022)


Even The Democrat Chairman Of The House Armed Services Committee Sees The NDAA As Long Overdue This Year

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SMITH (D-WA): “If you kick it [the NDAA] off four, five, six months, you are really damaging the United States military…. You are damaging the United States military every day past October 1st that you don’t get it done …” (Politico, 11/16/2022)


Senate Armed Services Committee Leaders: The NDAA ‘Is A Bill We Must Put Aside Our Differences And Pass Every Year,’ And This Year’s Bill Is Needed ‘To Ensure The United States Can Out-Compete, Deter, And Prevail Against Our Near-Peer Rivals’

SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JACK REED (D-RI): “[W]e have to ensure the United States can out-compete, deter, and prevail against our near-peer rivals. This NDAA confronts China and Russia by fully investing in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, the European Deterrence Initiative, and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. As part of this effort, the bill increases the defense topline authorization by $45 billion to address the effects of inflation and accelerate implementation of the National Defense Strategy. This topline boost will accelerate the production of certain munitions and increase procurement of aircraft, naval vessels, armored vehicles, long-range fires, and other resources needed by the services and combatant commands.” (Sen. Reed, Remarks, 10/11/2022)

SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER JIM INHOFE (R-OK): “The National Defense Authorization Act is the most important bill we pass every year—and especially the most important bill we pass for our troops. This year is no different…. It is easy to forget what brings us together around here, but the National Defense Authorization Act is a bill we must put aside our differences and pass every year.” (Sen. Inhofe, Remarks, 10/11/2022)


America’s Military Needs The NDAA Passed To Secure More Funding, Modernize Our Forces, Recruit More Servicemen And Women, And Replenish Our Arsenal

STEPHANIE MILLER, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy: “As Fiscal Year 2022 comes to a close, the department anticipates we will, collectively, miss our annual recruiting mission, despite assessing more than 170,000 remarkable young men and women. Our shortfall constitutes an unprecedented mission gap and is reason for concern for the greater state of national service…. Congress can help our efforts by improving high school access where high schools are incentivized to grant predictable and regular access to recruiters and support to the Career Exploration Program, updating authorities for targeted marketing and advertising to ensure our messages are uniquely tailored to diverse audiences with multifaceted interests, an on time budget approval with consideration of two-year funding for marketing and advertising for earlier media buys, which would not only maximize critical taxpayer resources through reduced price purchasing but also give recruitment advertising a more competitive advantage in an already crowded market.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel Hearing, 9/21/2022)

LT GEN. DUKE RICHARDSON, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics: “With completion of the 2022 National Defense Strategy, the strategic direction for the United States Air Force is clear, we must modernize our air and ground forces and capabilities to overcome the pacing challenges posed by the People's Republic of China and deter the threats of other strategic competitors. … In '23, Fiscal Year 2023, we welcome the opportunity to once again work with Congress to accelerate the development of a more modern and operationally relevant fighting force and deliver capabilities to the warfighter at the pace with which the current strategic environment demands.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Airland Hearing, 5/17/2022)

COL. CHRISTOPHER GRICE, Director of Material, Force Development, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army:Our requested investments in modernization for Fiscal Year 2023 reflect a deliberate, multi-year effort to accelerate focused modernization and place transformational capabilities in the hands of our soldiers. These capabilities support our national defense strategy for integrated deterrence, active campaigning, and help us build and maintain an enduring advantage over peers and potential adversaries. The Army's efforts contribute directly to the Joint Force's ability to deter, and when called upon, fight and win decisively. Modernized capabilities reduce risk imposed by an increasingly aggressive competitors and foes to help us achieve decision dominance, range, and lethality that provide overmatch against any adversary. The Army remains committed to maintaining momentum for our modernization priorities while sustaining our enduring fleets.  We continue to invest in upgrades to our enduring systems that will fight alongside our modernized capabilities.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Airland, 5/10/2022)

FREDERICK STEFANY, Acting Assistant Secretary of The Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition: “The Department of the Navy's fiscal year 2023 budget is guided by SECNAV's priorities to strengthen our maritime superiority in defense of our nation, to empower our people, and to strengthen strategic partnerships.  It implements the Chief of Naval Operations' navigation plan to expand our fleet capabilities for distributed operations while building on the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Force Design 2030, to rapidly modernize the expeditionary posture of the Marine Corps. Consistent with recent budgets, this budget prioritizes the Navy's contribution to the National Strategic Deterrence while balancing readiness for the fight tonight, new capabilities for the future fight, and capacity across the near and future.  The fiscal year 2022 budget continues our investments in more lethal network capabilities integrated into the Joint Force to address our pacing and acute threats.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Seapower Hearing, 4/26/2022)

ELLEN M. LORD, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment: “Our ability to deter aggression that violates our country's values and principles requires a strong government-industry partnership…. In order for business to survive and flourish there must be a clear demand signal and a fast pace of predictable development, production, and sustainment.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, 4/26/2022)



Related Issues: National Security, America's Military, NDAA