How House Republicans and Democrats voted on the last 8 Pentagon budgets

Speaking Security Newsletter | Advisory Note for Organizers and Candidates, n°112 | 14 September 2021

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Situation

Looks like the House will take up the FY2022 military policy bill (NDAA) the week of September 20. This is the same bill that the House Armed Services Committee passed earlier this month. Until this afternoon, House members can submit amendments to the bill. Proposed amendments accepted by the Rules Committee then get voted on by the full House. After the amendments are considered, the NDAA itself is voted on.

Progressive standard

Congressional progressives should vote No unless there are so many good amendments that end up getting attached to the thing that makes it worth passing. Because the NDAA passed out of committee is a really bad bill, the good-amendment threshold is really high.

As it stands, the Pentagon budget for FY2022 (next year) is $778 billion, which is somehow worse when compared to the ridiculous sums of the last 8 years.

How House Republicans and Democrats voted on the last 8 Pentagon budgets

Because the bill for FY2022 increases Pentagon spending, I worry that Democrat opposition to spending levels will remain steady or get worse compared to Trump-era NDAA votes. While the ratio of Yes-No votes among House Republicans remained virtually unchanged from Obama to Trump, more House Democrats voted for Trump’s Pentagon budgets than Obama’s. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Democrats voted for Trump-era NDAAs because they represented spending increases, but there’s also not much data to argue the opposite.

There needs to be a change of strategy among progressive activists to get more members on board with defunding the Pentagon. One action this community could take right away is to collectively tell conservative activists supportive of Pentagon-cuts to make themselves useful and start getting more Republican members to vote the right way.

Thanks for your time,

Stephen (@stephensemler; stephen@securityreform.org)

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