Wyden Votes No on Defense Policy Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after voting against the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I want to be clear that I support plenty of provisions in this NDAA. I even introduced or negotiated some of the language to improve the bill – like anti-money laundering provisions and amendments to push the Pentagon toward encrypting its computers and require the Army to provide a plan to finish cleaning up the former Umatilla Army Depot.

“The conference report will also set in motion a three-year process to remove Confederate names from military assets. I would have preferred a shorter timeline, but I am glad that Congress will be taking this overdue step to ensure that military bases do not honor traitors who fought to defend the horrific institution of slavery. 

“Because of the time and effort that Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed and other individuals put into this package, this year’s NDAA contains some invaluable provisions of which the American people should be deeply proud. I thank Senator Reed for his tireless work.

“But I cannot in good conscience authorize $740 billion in military spending—including roughly $70 billion to continue the forever wars—while Senate Republicans are offering mere crumbs to help folks stay safe from a raging pandemic and help small businesses stay afloat during this unprecedented time. 

“This bill also does nothing to prevent Donald Trump or any future president from sending federal agents to occupy American cities and treating peaceful protestors like foreign enemies, just as Trump did in Portland this summer. 

“I regret that these and other flaws mean that I must continue to oppose this NDAA.”