Congressman Schiff on National Defense Authorization Act
“The 2023 defense spending bill is one of the final pieces of legislation this Congress will take up, and it should represent our priorities for the prosperity and the security of our people. I am pleased the final version included strong investments in our servicemembers and key technologies, the important, bipartisan provisions in the Intelligence Authorization Act that will empower the intelligence community to function at its highest level in protecting every American, and my amendment calling on Iran to immediately end its human rights violations and unconditionally release political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
“However, this year’s bill also increases defense spending beyond what was requested by the commander-in-chief. When the package was being negotiated earlier this year in the House, I supported significant but targeted cuts because I did not want Congress to neglect funding for other critical priorities, such as support for our families and children, education, and affordable housing. That’s why I made the difficult decision to vote against it today.
“At a time when families across the country and in my home state of California are still struggling under the weight of inflation, I can’t reconcile a defense budget above the President’s request when pressing domestic priorities have been left out: from an extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, which could single-handedly lift millions of children out of poverty, to four weeks of paid family and medical leave, to expanded rental assistance and affordable housing construction.
“My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly this year to craft, negotiate, and introduce bold proposals that would immeasurably improve people’s lives and the future health and well-being of families everywhere. These are the measures that can best advance the prosperity and security of our nation, and they deserve to be included in the year-end packages on the House Floor.”