Key House Votes on H.R. 2500 Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill

By John Isaacs

* after vote number indicates CLW support

Amendment approved 219-210: Vote #17* Omar (D-MN) revised amendment requiring a report on financial costs and national security benefits for overseas military operations, including permanent military installations and bases. 

Amendment approved 240-185: Vote #26* Adam Smith (D-WA), Khanna (D-CA), Schiff (CA), Jayapal (WA) amendment prohibiting support to and participation in the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations against the Houthis in Yemen.

Amendment approved 236-189: Vote #31* Engel (D-NY) revised amendment expressing support for extending the New START Treaty. The amendment also prohibits use of funds to withdraw from New START unless Russia is in material breach of the treaty, requires DNI, SecState, and SecDef reports detailing the consequences of the Treaty’s lapse and impact on US nuclear modernization plan and requires Presidential certification regarding the future of the Treaty before its potential expiration.

Amendment rejected 164-264: Vote #32* Blumenauer (D-OR) revised amendment requiring an independent study on options to extend the life of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and delaying the ground-based strategic deterrent program (GBSD). Prevents 10% of funds for the Secretary of Defense from being distributed until the study is submitted. 68 Democrats opposed the amendment.

Amendment rejected 198-229: Vote #33* Blumenauer (D-OR), Garamendi (CA) revised amendment requiring the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security to conduct a study on the unexpected cost increases for the W80-4 nuclear warhead life extension program and prevents $185 million from being obligated or expended until the study is complete. 35 Democrats opposed the amendment.

Amendment approved 215-214: Vote #34* Frankel (D-FL) amendment prohibiting funding for missiles non-compliant with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty until the Secretary of Defense meets certain conditions.

Amendment approved by voice vote: Vote #35* Langevin (D- RI), Courtney (CT), Garamendi (CA), Larsen, Rick (WA), Foster (IL), Adam Smith (WA), Katie Hill (CA) amendment to add $20 million to the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation budget to conduct research and development on low-enriched uranium for naval reactors.

Amendment rejected 115-307: Vote #49* Khanna (D-CA), Lee, Barbara (CA), DeFazio (OR), Omar (MN), Pressley (MA) amendment reducing funding from the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account by $16.8 billion, to prevent a topline DoD spending increase from the FY19 level. A majority of Democrats voted against the amendment 112-120.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #2: Vote #87* Carbajal (D-CA) amendment requiring the National Academies of Sciences to conduct an independent review of plans and capabilities for nuclear verification, detection, and monitoring of nuclear weapons and fissile material.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #3: Vote #113* Courtney (D-CT) amendment requiring a report on US, Russian, and Chinese nuclear systems.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #5: Vote #148* Foster (D-IL) revised amendment revises the testing requirement for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System to include the use of threat-representative countermeasures. 

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #5: Vote #149* Foster (D-IL) revised amendment extending the congressional notification period to 180 days if the Secretary of Defense chooses to terminate its contract with the JASON scientific advisory group and requires that the Secretary receive congressional approval. The amendment also clarifies that JASON provides scientific and technical advice to multiple Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #5: Vote #150* Foster (D-IL) revised amendment requiring an independent study on the impacts of missile defense development and deployment.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #7: Vote #167* Gottheimer (D-NJ) revised amendment directs the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to send Congress recommendations to improve the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #7: Vote #189* Horn (D-OK), Cole (OK) amendment directing the Pentagon Inspector General  to conduct an audit of each of the military services and DoD agencies as applicable to determine if there has been any excess profit or excessive cost escalation in sole source, commercial depot maintenance contracts, including parts, supplies, equipment and maintenance services.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #8: Vote #216* Khanna (D-CA) revised amendment authorizing $10 million to be available to develop and prepare a monitoring and verification program related to the phased denuclearization of North Korea, in coordination with relevant international partners and organizations.

Amendment approved by voice vote: Vote #217* Khanna (D-CA), Sherman (CA), Kim (NJ), Barbara Lee (CA), Norton (DC), Cisneros (CA), Espaillat (NY), Omar (MN), Haaland (NM), Lofgren (CA), Jayapal (WA), Perlmutter (CO) revised amendment urging the U.S. to pursue a sustained and credible diplomatic process to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea and an end to the 69-year-long Korean War.

Amendment approved by voice vote in en bloc #13: Vote #320* Porter (D-CA) amendment preserving the requirement for the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation to produce a public annual report.

Amendment rejected 201-221: Vote #386 Turner (R-OH) amendment to permit deployment of low-yield W76-2 warhead ballistic missile warheads. A similar amendment on the FY 2020 Defense Appropriations bill offered by Rep. Cheney (R-WY) lost June 18 192-236; she also lost on this issue in  the House Armed Services Committee Defense Authorization markup.

Amendment approved 251-170: Vote #423* Khanna (D-CA) and 88 co-sponsors amendment prohibiting unauthorized military force in or against Iran. 27 Republicans voted for the amendment.

Amendment approved 242-180: Vote #424* Lee, Barbara (D-CA), Lewis (GA), Amash (MI), Schiff (CA), Pocan (WI), Crow (CO), Engel (NY) repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 USC. 1541). 

Amendment approved 237-183: Vote #425* Lee, Barbara (D-CA) amendment that expresses the sense of Congress that the 2001 AUMF has been utilized well beyond the scope that Congress intended, that it has served a blank check for any President to wage war at any time and any place, and that any new authorization for the use of military force to replace the 2001 AUMF should include a sunset clause, a clear and specific expression of objectives, targets, and geographic scope, and reporting requirements.

Amendment approved 230-189: Vote #441* Jayapal (D-WA) amendment requiring studies regarding potential cost savings with respect to the nuclear security enterprise and force structure from the Comptroller General, Federally funded research and development centers, a nongovernmental think tank and the CBO.