Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
“For nearly 60 years, the National Defense Authorization Act has been a product of bipartisan consensus, formed out of a common respect for American troops – until now. I am disappointed that House Democrats chose to use this critical legislation as a vehicle for their partisan priorities. As drafted, the NDAA fails to adequately equip our Armed Services to protect Americans at home and abroad.
“Rather than invest in our Armed Forces, this bill cuts funding for the critical programs designed to deter Russia and China, makes significant reductions to America’s nuclear modernization program, and will allow dangerous terrorists to be moved to the United States with the end goal of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Additionally, the NDAA bans construction on commonsense border security measures and restricts the government’s ability to respond to the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. Worst of all, House Democrats want to cut defense personnel accounts by $1.2 billion – the funds allocated for troops’ pay, housing, and benefits – hurting our military families.
“The Senate advanced a bipartisan NDAA bill that received 86 votes, which makes me optimistic that we can reach a compromise during the conference process. In the meantime, it is unacceptable that House Democrats are unwilling to allow the House to vote on commonsense defense legislation that could actually reach President Trump’s desk. Once again, House Democrats have chosen to prioritize partisan messaging over effective governing – jeopardizing our troops and national security in the process.”