Policy Letter

POGO Joins Groups Calling for Congress To Reject Defense Authorization Bill

September 30, 2015

Dear Senator:

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

Niskanen Center

Peace Action

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