Progressives Attach Iran, Yemen, Korea, Nukes, and AUMF Riders to Military Policy Bill

The Pentagon and the Capitol

The House passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this afternoon, with all but 8 Democrats in favor and almost all Republicans opposed. Was this a step forward for peace, or for war?

Led by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Democrats and 23 Republicans passed an amendment preventing use of military force with Iran without Congressional approval. Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts was one of only seven Democrats who declined to support the No War With Iran amendment.

What’s up, Steve – haven’t we had enough Endless Wars for your liking?

The House prohibited further US assistance to the Saudi war in Yemen, including new arms sales to #Saudi.

The House voted to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) — but not the more important 2001 AUMF — and to call for negotiations and a peace treaty in Korea.

Democrats stood firm on preventing deployment of new low-yield nukes despite strong Republican efforts. They also voted against missiles noncompliant with New START.  Rep. Seth Moulton was only Massachusetts rep voting to build those new missiles.

On the negative side, progressives failed to pass an amendment to cut the gargantuan military budget by $17 billion. Reps. Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Lori Trahan, Joe Kennedy, Katherine Clark, and Ayanna Pressley voted for the amendment. Seth Moulton, Stephen Lynch, and Bill Keating voted no.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)’s amendments to prevent the military from being deployed at the US-Mexico border or to detain migrants there failed. All Mass. reps supported her except Seth Moulton.

We won some important policy victories on Iran, Saudi/Yemen, Korea, nukes, and AUMF. But Peace Action opposed final passage of the FY20 NDAA due to the wildly exorbitant military budget. Rep. Pressley was the only Mass. rep who voted no! Thanks to her for her courage!

The Senate passed an FY20 NDAA which is much worse than the House version. Looking ahead, we’ll need to continue to be vigilant to make sure our victories on Iran, Yemen, Korea, nukes, and AUMF make it through to the final version.

The many recorded votes on the amendments put our members of Congress on the record on a wide variety of issues. We will remember, and we will do our best to make sure the voters do, too!