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New War Budget Bans Troop Drawdowns: 10 Senators, 68 Reps Vote "No" on NDAA


July 29, 2018
Yonhap News Agency & Office of Rep. Mark DeSaulnier & GovTrack.us

Congress has passed a defense authorization bill that restricts any drawdown of 28,500 US troops currently stationed in South Korea. The legislation specifically notes that any reduction of forces as "a non-negotiable item as it relates to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization" of North Korea." The budget bill would give an additional $717 billion to the Pentagon. Some politicians are demanding an audit of Pentagon waste (Current estimate: at least $125 billion) before approving a new budget.

http://m.yna.co.kr/mob2/en/contents_en.jsp?domain=3&ctype=A&site=0200000000&cid=AEN20180727000400315

US House Passes Defense Bill
Restricting Drawdown of Troops in S. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

WASHINGTON (July 26, 2018) -- The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a defense authorization bill that restricts any drawdown of American troops in South Korea.

The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, which approves US$716 billion for defense in fiscal year 2019, passed the House by a vote of 359-54. Upon Senate approval, it will be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The bill notes that about 28,500 American troops are currently stationed in South Korea as a demonstration of the US commitment to the bilateral alliance.

Their "significant removal" is "a non-negotiable item as it relates to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization" of North Korea, the bill says under a section describing the Sense of Senate on US military forces on the Korean Peninsula.

In a conference report accompanying the legislation, Congress also prohibits the use of the funds to reduce the troops' number below 22,000 without certification from the secretary of defense that "such a reduction is in the national security interest of the United States and will not significantly undermine the security of United States allies in the region."

The defense secretary would also be required to certify that he has "appropriately consulted with allies of the United States, including the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, regarding such a reduction."

The restriction comes as Trump has repeatedly indicated a willingness to eventually pull out American forces from South Korea. Critics say such a move would play into the hands of China and North Korea, which wish to see US troops removed from near their border.
hague@yna.co.kr



Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Comments on
Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2019

Press Release / Office of Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

WASHINGTON, DC (July 26, 2018) -- Today, Congressman DeSaulnier (CA-11) released the following statement in response to the final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515), which passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 359-to-54.

"The NDAA would give an additional $717 billion to the Department of Defense. For context, that is almost four times the entire budget for the State of California. Instead of giving funding unchecked to the Pentagon, where $125 billion in bureaucratic waste has already been identified, we should be spending on only the essentials while demanding a completed audit.

"I have not voted in favor of any of the annual bills to authorize defense spending and will continue to oppose the measure until the DoD has completed a full audit and I am confident taxpayers' hard earned money is spent in an open, transparent, and efficient manner that also ensures our troops' safety."


Last year, Congressman DeSaulnier authored the Department of Defense Waste Reduction Act (H.R. 2367) to address reckless spending at the Department of Defense (DoD) and prevent it from receiving any additional funding until wasteful spending practices within the Department are addressed.


Senate Votes on H.R. 5515
GovTrack.US

Yays: 46 Republicans, 38 Democrats, and 1 Independent

Nays: 2 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and 1 Independent

Among those Voting Nay:
Democrats Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Ron Wyden, Kirsten Gilibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren;
Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
Independent: Bernie Sanders.

House Votes on H.R.5515 (May 24, 2018)
GovTrack.US

Yays: 220 Republicans, 131 Democrats
Nays: 7 Republicans, 59 Democrats

Voting Against the Pentagon Budget Proposal:

Democrats:
Raul Grijalva (AZ 3rd)
Jared Huffman (CA 2nd)
Mike Thompson (CA 5th)
Doris Matsui (CA 6th)
Mark DeCaulnier (CA 11th)
Barbara Lee (CA 13th)
Eric Swalwell (CA 15th)
Ro Khanna (CA 17th)
Anna Eschoo (CA 18th)
Zoe Lofgren (CA 19th)
Judy Chu (CA 27th)
Grace Napolitano (CA 32nd)
Jimmy Gomez (CA 34th)
Karen Bass (CA 37th)
Lindo Sanchez (CA 38th)
Mark Takano (CA 41st)
Maxine Waters (CA 43rd)
Nanette Barragan (CA 44th)
Alan Lowenthal (CA 47th)
Diana DeGette (CO 1st)
Jared Polis (CO 2nd)
Frederica Wilson (FL 24th)
Hank Johnson (GA 4th)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI 2nd)
Luis Guitierrez (IL 4th)
Jan Schakowsky (IL 9th)
John Yamuth (KY 3rd)
Jamie Raskin (MD 8th)
Jim McGovern (MA 2nd)
Joseph Kennedy (MA 4th)
Katherine Clark (MA 5th)
Michael Capuano (MA 7th)
Daniel Kildee (MI 5th)
Keith Ellison (MN 5th)
Richard Nolan (MN 8th)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO 5th)
Frank Pallone (NJ 6th)
Donald Payne (NJ 10th)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ 12th)
Nydia Velazquez (NY 7th)
Hakeem Jerffries (NY 8th)
Yvette Clarke (NY 9th)
Jerrold Nadler (NY 10th)
Carolyn Maloney (NY 12th)
Adriano Espaillat (NY 13th)
Joe Crowley (NY 14th)
Jose Serrano (NY 15th)
Joyce Beatty (OH 3th)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR 1st)
Earl Blumenauer (OR 3rd)
Peter DeFazio (OR 4th)
Mike Doyle (PA 14th)
David Cicilline (RI 1st)
Steve Cohen (TN 9th)
Peter Welch (VT)
Priamila Jayapal (WA 7th)
Mark Pocan (WI 2nd)
Gwen Moore (WI 4th)

Republicans
Ken Buck (CO 4th)
Thomas Massie *KY 4th)
Raul Labrador (ID 1st)
Justin Amash (MI 3rd)
Walter Jones (NC 3rd)
John Duncan (TN 2nd)
Morgan Griffith (VA 9th)

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