September 30, 2015
We, the undersigned groups, are writing to urge a “no” vote on the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act as reported out of conference. We are deeply troubled by the $38 billion added to the Overseas Contingency Operations slush fund. The disregard for the goal of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) caps on discretionary spending, the use of a budget gimmick to flout the budget ceiling’s caps, and the lack of transparency surrounding the bill all make the passage of this NDAA irresponsible.
The Armed Services Committees have indicated that the conferenced NDAA uses extra funds added to the Overseas Contingency Operations account to pay for base budget priorities. This is a cynical maneuver that enables lawmakers to claim they maintained the statutory cap on defense spending, while exploiting BCA provisions that allow OCO or emergency spending outside of the caps.
The NDAA plays an important role in Congress’ oversight of the Pentagon and its responsibility to our troops and safety. When it is used to create a slush fund of unaccountable cash to fund pet projects in and out of the Pentagon’s budget, it grievously undermines the budget process.
We urge you to vote no.
American Friends Service Committee
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Center for Defense Information
Center for International Policy
Council for a Livable World
London Center for Policy Research
Pentagon Budget Campaign
Progressive Democrats of America
Project on Government Oversight
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
United for Peace and Justice
U.S. Labor Against the War
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions