The House is Reckless and Senate is Secretive on Slushy Defense Spending


Amanda Waldron; 202-543-4100 ext. 2115

May 15, 2014


Today, the House approved its version of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 269 to 151.

The House bill authorized $612 billion in total for defense spending in FY16. While this figure matches the President’s request overall, the House boosted funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations account to an outrageous $96 billion, while lowering the base Pentagon budget to $523 billion. Compare that to the President’s original request of $51 billion for OCO and $561 billion for base Pentagon spending.

In the House, more than 60% of the 355 amendments to the bill submitted to the Rules Committee were not allowed to be considered, and a mere ten minutes was allotted to debate each amendment.

Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee debated and voted on their version of the NDAA behind closed doors. The bill has not been made public.

Executive Director Angela Canterbury said:

“We are pleased that 151 bipartisan members of the House saw fit to reject this reckless bill. As usual, the NDAA is chock-full of programs and policies that will not improve our national security, while many proposed amendments that would make us safer were not even allowed for consideration. For example, an amendment by Rep. Fortenberry (R.-Neb.) to prevent nuclear terrorism was not allowed, yet the bill spends another $1 billion to buy six more troubled F-35 planes before they can even fly.

Perhaps most egregious, the House authorized nearly $100 billion for a slush fund for the Pentagon as an end-run around their own budget caps. Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s work on the bill was done almost entirely in secret. According to their press release, the committee bemoaned wasteful spending at the Pentagon and found $10 billion in savings—but then they poured it all back into pet projects.

Congress needs to stop spending our tax dollars on slush and calling it strength.” 

Click to read more on the amendments permitted and not permitted to the House NDAA.

Canterbury and the rest of the Council and Center’s experts can be reached by contacting Amanda Waldron at or 202-543-4100 x 2115.


The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a national non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through expert policy analysis and thought-provoking research. Since 1980, the Center’s expertise on reducing the threats of war and nuclear weapons has been sought by the media and policymakers—supported by the tax-deductible contributions of foundations and individuals.


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