Congressman Schiff on Passage of 2022 National Defense Authorization Act
“Our national security mission is only as strong as our support for the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will improve the quality of life for those who have answered the call of duty, boost America’s ability to fight the climate crisis, and make important investments in the current and future needs of our national security infrastructure.
“At the same time, our national security efforts must live up to and promote America’s highest ideals around the world. While I voted in support of the NDAA, given its undeniable importance in keeping our country safe, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans in the House and Senate insisted on excluding key provisions.
“America prides itself on defending the freedom of the press and human rights, yet this bill does not prohibit the U.S. from giving foreign assistance to governments that commit extrajudicial killings against journalists. Additionally, the bill does not adequately address the urgent need for Azerbaijan to release illegally-detained Armenian prisoners of war who have been subject to torture. Congress has a vital role in authorizing the use of force - or precluding it - and this bill should, but does not, repeal a decades-old war authorization concerning Iraq.
“A personal disappointment is that this bill does not honor the ‘Lost 74’ of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
“If we want to vigorously protect our people, our armed forces, and our nation for generations to come, we must invest in more than just a baseline definition of national security. We must also invest in the ideas that have made America the world’s foremost defender of human rights.”