Joint Letter to Congressional Democrats: Oppose NDAA That Doesn’t Put Checks on Trump


Last Updated on January 23, 2020.

October 24, 2019

We are a diverse group of organizations focused on strengthening diplomacy, protecting migrants and refugees, preventing wars of choice, combating corruption, and promoting human rights, and together we represent millions of Americans. We write to urge you to stand up for democratic values in negotiations around the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and refuse to provide over $730 billion in unrestrained Pentagon spending unless there are significant constraints on this administration’s harmful policies. 

Over the course of his administration, Donald Trump has been on the brink of war with Iran, continued U.S. complicity in supporting atrocities committed by the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition in Yemen, illegally raided Pentagon funds for his hateful border wall project that harms migrants and asylum-seekers, banned transgender servicemembers from military service, developed new nuclear weapons while also broadening their potential uses in official U.S. policy, expanded use-of-force authorities – leading to a major increase in civilian casualties, and sought to lessen oversight of military-style firearms exports, among other abuses. 

The House Democratic majority ensured that H.R. 2500 took a stand against those abuses. It includes smart, common-sense, and humane provisions on foreign policy and national security. For instance, H.R. 2500 guards against a Trump-led war of choice with Iran; ends U.S. weapons and security aid to the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition; bars any use of Pentagon dollars for a southern border “wall;” prevents discrimination against transgender servicemembers; bars the deployment of the new low-yield nuclear weapon; repeals the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq; bans new detainees at GTMO; requires DOD to exhaustively report on civilian casualties; prevents the administration from relaxing oversight of assault weapons exports; and includes protections from toxic PFAS chemicals, which contaminate groundwater and drinking water around hundreds of military installations across the country. 

Now is a key time for continued moral leadership. The pressure will certainly be great to capitulate to the Administration and its supporters, passing a NDAA stripped of all these meaningful reforms, protections, and constraints, but we will have your back if you stand strong. We urge you to oppose any negotiated bill that does not include a minimum of core progressive priorities that were included in H.R 2500. There is simply no reason to continue with business-as-usual with such a reckless, corrupt, and unlawful president. Any compromise on the NDAA must provide genuine checks on the president, or it is not worth passing into law.

Action Corps ·Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) ·Arms Control Association ·Avaaz · Beyond the Bomb · Campaign for America’s Future · Center for Biological Diversity · Center for International Policy · CODEPINK · Common Defense · Council for a Livable World · CREDO · Demand Progress · Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries · Foreign Policy for America · Franciscan Action Network ·Freedom Forward · Fuerza del Valle · Global Exchange · Hispanic Federation ·Humanitarian Border Solutions · La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) · Main Street Alliance · MoveOn · National Iranian American Council Action · NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice ·Newtown Action Alliance · Nuclear Age Peace Foundation · Nuclear Watch New Mexico · Open Society Policy Center · Our Revolution · Peace Action · Physicians for Social Responsibility · Public Citizen · RGV Equal Voice Network · Southern Border Communities Coalition · Students for Yemen · Survivors Empowered Action Fund · The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society · Truman Project for National Security · Union of Concerned Scientists · United for Peace and Justice · Win Without War · Women’s Action for New Directions

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October 23, 2019