Press Release: Executive Director John Tierney Urges Members of Congress to oppose FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act

Rowan Humphries
Communications Assistant


Executive Director John Tierney Urges Members of Congress to oppose FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act

(December 10, 2019 – WASHINGTON) Former Congressman John Tierney, now Executive Director of Council for a Livable World, makes the following statement in regards to the final fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act conference report released Monday night.

Tierney, a nine-term former Member of Congress from Massachusetts, said: “The conference version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) does not advance the security interests of the American people. The Council for a Livable World strongly recommends that Members of Congress oppose the measure when it is presented for a vote.

The level of defense spending in the House version of the bill was unacceptably high. However, the legislation was worth supporting as it pushed back on many of the dangerous policies promoted by the Administration and Republicans in the Senate and House. It also contained a number of provisions that put a check on President Trump’s nuclear weapons policies, including a prohibition against the deployment of the W76-2 warhead, a destabilizing low-yield nuclear weapon designed for warfighting.

The conference process produced a final bill that authorized a $738 billion in defense spending, but includes few, if any, protections against a new nuclear arms race. By advancing the W76-2, the NDAA will also put a new nuclear capability into the hands of a President who is currently undergoing impeachment proceedings.

That is unacceptable.

So too is the conferees’ failure to retain the House provisions to block President Trump’s unilateral military aggression against Iran, prohibit the U.S. military’s support for the Saudi war in Yemen, repeal the 2002 Authorization of the Use of Military Force, and more. (Full analysis on the failed provisions is available here.)

The bill is devoid of any redeeming feature that would justify spending $738 billion other than as an early Christmas present to the military industrial complex. In the end, the final version of the FY2020 NDAA is a capitulation to the forces that would keep this nation at war forever.

Designing and supporting policies that will keep the American people safe is a solemn responsibility of our legislators. The FY2020 NDAA fails in that regard and Members of Congress should reject it.”