WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after voting no on the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“As someone who worked inside the Pentagon, I know how important it is to give the strongest backing to our men and women in uniform and to plan carefully for a military prepared to meet our global challenges and keep America safe. I also know, from my time inside the Pentagon, the capacity for institutional biases, political judgments, and bureaucratic turf battles to waste and misdirect resources.
“The National Defense Authorization Act that the Senate voted on today does not demand the accountability and sound decision-making that we need when grappling with 16 percent of our federal budget and the security of our country. For example, the bill fails to provide for reliable cost estimates and an assessment of the strategic implications of a massive modernization program for our nuclear arsenal. It explicitly hides the cost of the B-21 bomber program. It also shields defense contractors from having to disclose violations of workplace safety and anti-discrimination laws.
“The Pentagon and its contractors need to be accountable to taxpayers and the American people.”