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"No" on S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014
November 18, 2013
NTU urges all Senators to vote “No” on S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014. At a time of persistent debt and deficits, this legislation represents a missed opportunity to restrain military spending and address longstanding waste at the Pentagon.
S. 1197’s top-line numbers do come in several million dollars under the Administration’s request; however, the overall spending figures stubbornly ignore the reality of current law. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 requires that defense spending for Fiscal Year 2014 be limited to $498.1 billion, approximately equal to what was spent in 2006. S. 1197 authorizes the Department of Defense to spend $54 billion over that spending cap on base budget and other discretionary expenses. Authorizing, and subsequently appropriating, to the spending limits imposed under the BCA would help to minimize the so-called “meat cleaver” effect of the sequester by using Congressional authority to reset program priorities and give the Pentagon the time it needs to plan accordingly.
S. 1197 is also packed with funding for projects and programs that Pentagon officials have said they don’t want or need. The Project on Government Oversight has compiled a list that totals $1.3 billion in wasteful, unnecessary spending. The list includes an additional $47.3 million in C-130 modernization (a project completely cancelled in the Administration’s 2014 budget request), $100 million for the Navy to acquire another DDG-51 destroyer on top of the one requested, $150 million for the Defense Rapid Innovation Program – a program the Pentagon had not requested any funds for – and many others.
Our growing debt and out-of-control spending pose a significant threat to future prosperity, and therefore the nation’s security. Congress can best secure that future by setting policies that are both sustainable and realistic; S. 1197 does neither. Taxpayers deserve a fiscally sound strategy for protecting Americans from foreign enemies.
Roll call votes on S. 1197 will be significantly weighted in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and “No” will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700