Situation Report: Schumer blocking consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

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China’s nuclear modernization and expansion continues at a rapid pace. Russia threatens Ukraine and Eastern Europe with cyberattacks and provocative military maneuvers. American military capabilities continue to decay. Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer refuses to bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the floor, Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee said Monday at a Capitol Hill press conference.

Ranking Republican on the committee Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe asserted his colleague Rhode Island Democratic Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed approached Schumer about bringing it to the floor for a vote. Schumer wasn’t interested, Inhofe said.

Both Senators noted broad bipartisan support for the NDAA in a September press release.

“This bipartisan legislation provides our troops and Defense Department civilians with a well-deserved pay raise, as well as new tools and reforms to protect the health and well-being of our servicemen and women and their families. It prioritizes efforts to strengthen our cyber defenses, improve readiness, and accelerate the research and development of advanced technologies,” Reed said in the press release.

The holiday recesses are fast approaching. Senators marked up the bill in July. It marks one of the latest considerations of a NDAA by the Senate, according to South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune. What’s Schumer doing instead?

He’s focusing on confirming low-level nominees instead of funding the U.S. military.

It shows once again that the Democratic leadership puts having a strong national defense at a lower program than spending trillions on its social programs and green-energy programs.

“If you look around the world, you see China threatening to invade Taiwan, blockading the South China Sea, that’s their aspiration,” Sen. John Cornyn said, noting that the U.S. must send the world the message that it is serious about defense.

Failing to pass the NDAA in short order means will hurt service personnel the hardest in the short-term:

  • 240,000 military families will have smaller paychecks in January because they will not receive special/hazard pay;
  • Authorization to fight jihadist terror groups will lapse as the Taliban and other groups resurge following the withdrawal from Afghanistan;
  • DoD civilian employees will not receive full pay;
  • Military construction projects will be halted;
  • And dozens of weapons programs will be adversely impacted, including Israel’s David’s Sling Weapon System and Arrow 3 Upper Tier interceptor requested by Israel; U.S. Army development of an American hypersonic weapons system; the Air Force’s Skyborg AI drone program; F-35 parts; and nuclear modernization among others.

North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer’s comments during Monday’s press conference were on target. The U.S. is the sole deterrent in the free world to Chinese and Russian aggression. Defense spending cannot and should not take a backseat to domestic programs aimed at protecting the interests of Democratic Party politicians and their donors.

“The leadership in the Democratic Party on the Hill and in the White House … Speaker Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, President Biden all come from the anti-military Vietnam era and it shows,” Sen. Thom Tillis said. “Why? Because their actions consistently prioritize the interests of our military last.”

Time is running out, and before long our deterrence will not be enough to stop our enemies. Sen. Schumer must bring the NDAA to the floor for a vote.

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