Congress Approves Massive Pentagon Spending Increase, Drops Restrictions on Trump Warmaking

NDAA Conference Vote in House, Dec 11, 2019
NDAA Conference Vote in House, Dec 11, 2019

Congress has just agreed to give $738 billion dollars to the Pentagon with no strings attached. On December 11 in the House of Representatives, 188 Democrats, including six from our Massachusetts delegation, joined 189 Republicans to give President Trump and his war machine everything they wanted in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). They had they chance to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, end our shameful participation in the Yemen war, and repeal the Iraq war authorization, but they did none of these things. Instead they passed a bill that includes money for a border wall, dangerous new nuclear weapons, and a Space force. 

On December 17 in the Senate, 37 Democrats joined 48 Republicans and 1 independent (Angus King of Maine) to send the bill to the White House. If this upsets you as much as it does me, click here to add your name to our letter.

Donald Trump said in response:

“Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: Pay Raise for our Troops, Rebuilding our Military, Paid Parental Leave, Border Security, and Space Force! Congress – don’t delay this anymore! I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!”

So much for the resistance. For a long time we’ve been talking about the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. This vote only proves the point. Reps. Richard Neal, Lori Trahan, Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton, Stephen Lynch, and William Keating all voted for this indefensible “defense” bill. Click here to give them a piece of your mind! Sign on to our letter.

A brave few did stand up to the Trump administration and the military industrial complex. Thank Reps. Jim McGovern, Joe Kennedy III, and Ayanna Pressley, as well as Senator Ed Markey, for voting no. Senator Elizabeth Warren did not vote, but stated her opposition to the bill publicly. This vote makes them a target for defense contractors with deep pockets and opens them up to jingoistic criticism. They deserve our support. Click here to sign on to our letter of thanks.

If you’re in the mood to shout instead, call Congress at 202-224-3121. If Richard Neal, Lori Trahan, Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton, Stephen Lynch, or William Keating is your member of Congress ask why they gave Donald Trump everything he wanted. Ask how they can possibly consider themselves part of the resistance.

If your member of Congress is Jim McGovern, Joe Kennedy III, or Ayanna Pressley. tell them to keep it up and encourage them to make a loud public statement. This is well over half of the discretionary budget, after all!

You can also call Sen. Ed Markey (202-224-2742) to thank him for his ‘NO’ vote and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (202-224-4543) to thank her for her statement of opposition.

To learn more about ending the horrific war in Yemen click here to learn more about an event on Monday December 30th at 7 PM with Hassan El-Tayyab, Legislative Representative for Middle East Policy of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Hassan has been a tireless advocate in Washington D.C for ending our shameful involvement in the Yemen war. He and members of the Raytheon Anti-War Campaign will talk about next steps going forward and what you can do to help. This event will be held at Friends Meeting in Cambridge, 5 Longfellow Park. 

I know how frustrated you must feel. I am right there with you. We must continue to fight. Remember you can always get in touch with us at or call us at 617-354-2169. We want to hear from you. We can make these changes, but only if we work together!