Congresswoman Terri Sewell Voted Against the National Defense Authorization Act 2017
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Terri Sewell, a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 4909 – National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017:
“As a Member of Congress, I am fully committed to ensuring that our brave men and women in uniform have all of the support necessary to protect and defend our great nation from threats both foreign and domestic. My vote on the NDAA in no way undermines that unyielding commitment to preserving our national security, and ensuring our military has the resources that it needs to meet ongoing and emerging threats around the world. However, I am deeply concerned that this bill would set a dangerous precedent by promoting uncertainty for our military at a time when it desperately needs reliable support.
“While I am very supportive of the bill’s 2.1% pay increase for military personnel and new protections for victims of military sexual assaults, unfortunately the legislation also contains a provision which would remove overtime wage protection, making these military employees susceptible to gender or age discrimination, and put those same employees’ health and safety at risk. Additionally, the bill as drafted significantly reduces funding efforts to serve our frontline troops fighting against terrorist groups such as ISIS by nearly $18 billion and redirects these funds to non-war related “base budget” that have not been requested by the Pentagon.
“Ultimately, we must put partisan politics aside and pass a defense authorization bill to maintain the safety and security of all Americans. Since President Obama has already indicated his intention to veto this bill, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a national defense authorization bill which appropriately funds all necessary government services and military obligations.”
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and the distinguished House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence charged with the oversight of our national security. She is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture, a key subcommittee on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.