WASHINGTON, DC—Today Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) released the following statement on his vote against the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

“I proudly voted against the NDAA, not just because the $868.3 billion budget it contains is bloated beyond all recognition and absurdly opaque, but because this legislation is now giant flypaper for every right-wing culture war dogma and bigotry in the country. Anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-diversity-and-inclusion, and anti-environmental amendments are strewn all over this legislation like MAGA culture-war roadkill. Meantime, our GOP colleagues have made sure that the real security concerns and problems of the country are never addressed.  

“On the Fourth of July, global temperatures rocketed past the record for the hottest day in 125,000 years, endangering the future of human existence. At the same time, political extremism and fanaticism continue their own upward climb worldwide and at home, including—as we learned on January 6th, 2021—within the military itself. Instead of addressing these urgent threats to human security and global democracy, the United States House of Representatives attacked the modest efforts of the Pentagon to address climate change and reinforced dangerous trends towards white supremacist extremism by undermining diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the armed forces.

“National security experts identify the climate crisis as an urgent threat. They have also identified our military as a prime recruiting ground for white supremacist extremists. Instead of addressing these crises, this bill doubles down on handouts to the runaway military-industrial-carbon complex. While I strongly support bolstering servicemembers’ pay and other benefits, I voted against this bill because the rest of the package is an irresponsible defense contractor boondoggle wish list. It fails to account for hundreds of billions of dollars in spending, to invest in the true national security provided by a livable planet and to address intolerance and white supremacy in the ranks of our military.”

 This year, Rep. Raskin submitted six amendments to the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act, including: 

  • An amendment that would require the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to reduce Department of Defense (DoD) greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement;
  • An amendment that would mandate that DoD release an agency-wide total of total greenhouse gas emissions to a publicly available database; 
  • An amendment asking DoD to develop a strategy to develop and implement training to address threat indicators and recruitment tactics associated with white supremacist extremism; and 
  • An amendment to protect high school students in the JROTC program from sexual harassment and abuse.

The Republican majority on the House Rules Committee voted against considering Rep. Raskin’s amendments for House floor debate. The full text of Rep. Raskin’s additional four amendments are available here.