Starting May 14, the House of Representatives will debate and vote on the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a massive bill that sets the nation’s defense policies and authorizes $612 billion in spending at the Pentagon. Every year, this bill is loaded with billions in pork and waste designed to stuff the pockets of the Pentagon’s contractors by buying weapons that don’t work or don’t have a use on the modern battlefield. While we need to invest in our troops and our security, year after year Congress loads in tens of billions of dollars in additional, wasteful spending, all while they continue to slash investments here at home in infrastructure, education, healthcare and other vital needs.
But this year, Republicans in Congress are trying to do something even worse by adding nearly $40 billion to a massive slush fund at the Pentagon. President Obama has said he will veto this measure – officially called the OCO account – to shovel money into the Pentagon while ignoring the brutal cuts to the rest of our nation’s investments. The military’s leaders have said this is a bad decision. And now Democrats in Congress are standing up to say no.
Your Representative needs you to hear from you now!
You can reach your Representative via the Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121 (to confirm who your Representative is, click here). Ask the operator to put you through to your Representative, and then tell the person who takes your call:
- I’m calling from (city, state) to ask the Congressperson to oppose the NDAA. Congress should not be using budget gimmicks to add billions to the Pentagon’s OCO slush fund.
We all support adequate funding for our national security, but using the OCO slush fund is not the way to do it. The OCO account was intended to only fund the costs of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the costs of those wars have decreased as our troops have come home, and Congress is now using the OCO account as a massive slush fund. In fact, so much extra money has been put in the OCO slush fund that, if it were its own government agency, it would be the second largest part of the federal government, second only to the Pentagon itself!
While wasting billions on the OCO slush fund, Congress is making dramatic cuts to domestic investments. Because of this dangerous plan, funding for veterans will be cut this year. You simply cannot say you support our troops if you are willing to use a slush fund to pad the pockets of the Pentagon’s contractors while you ask our nation’s veterans to endure budget cuts.
In addition to the $96 billion OCO slush fund, the NDAA is full of dangerous policy provisions. As written, the bill would keep Guantanamo open forever, invest billions in wasteful weapons like the F-35 and the Littoral Combat Ship, and prevent much needed reforms in the military, like closing excess bases. Investing in wasteful spending and doubling down on failed policies does nothing to keep our nation safe.
It’s time to say enough is enough. Call your Representative today at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to vote NO on the NDAA.