Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Votes for Principled Defense Bill

July 12, 2019
Press Release
Our Military Spending Is Too High, But We Must Bring a Strong, Progressive Bill to Negotiate with the Senate

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) released the following statement after voting in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020:

“Since I assumed office in January, the House of Representatives has taken several key votes to support military servicemembers and their families while blocking the Trump Administration’s unpredictable defense policy. This year’s NDAA incorporates those priorities: it promotes diversity in the armed services, prohibits the use of military funding for a border wall, provides 12 weeks of paid family leave for qualified federal employees, and keeps dangerous substances out of our waterways by regulating use of harmful chemicals on military bases. The bill also includes key amendments to prevent the President from abusing executive authority.

“I am especially proud to have cosponsored several amendments to make this bill fairer for military members: I supported a measure to reverse the dishonorable discharge of servicemembers who were discharged because of their sexual orientation. I also cosponsored an amendment to prohibit DACA and TPS holders in the Armed Services from being deported, and an amendment to prevent Department of Defense facilities from being used to house or detain unaccompanied migrant children. Finally, I supported a bipartisan amendment to prohibit unauthorized military force against Iran.

“Despite the progress made in this year’s NDAA, the topline budget of the bill is still far too high -- $100 billion over President Obama’s final NDAA. We should fund domestic programs for better access to food, healthcare, and financial security, rather than add to already bloated military budgets. The Senate version of the NDAA, however, has an even higher topline. For that reason, I voted to pass a strong, progressive bill out of the House.

When the bill goes to conference with the Senate, House negotiators will have the leverage to advance a more inclusive, more environmentally-conscious, and more humane military policy.”