NYC Area Congressional Delegation Votes Down National Defense Bill

U.S. Capital Building. 123rf Stock

The House this week may have passed the bipartisan $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but it was soundly defeated among the New York City Congressional delegation.

The house vote was 363-70 with 51 Democrats and 19 Republicans voting against the measure. But among New York City area Congressional members the vote was 8-5 against the measure.

The NDAA looks to allocate  $740 billion toward Department of Defense programs, $27.8 billion for Department of Energy national security programs and $378 million for other defense-related matters. It also includes a 2.7 percent boost in pay for American troops and increases paternal leave for service members.

Voting against the measure were U.S. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), Grace Meng (D-Queens), Velázquez, Nydia (D-Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan/Brooklyn); Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/Bronx), Ritchie Torres (Manhattan/Bronx) and Jamaal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester).

Voting for the measure were U.S. Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island/Queens), Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens), Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), and Adriano Espaillat (Manhattan/Bronx).

“I cannot vote for a $768 billion defense authorization bill that goes $25 billion above what was requested by the Biden Administration while key priorities in our efforts to recover from the pandemic remain unfunded. Our bloated Pentagon budget cannot come at the cost of American lives,” said Clarke.

Clarke said she was additionally disappointed that the NDAA did not include cyber incident reporting legislation. 

“While this legislation does include important provisions such as my amendment to provide additional funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s CyberSentry Program, which allows us to more rapidly detect vulnerabilities and identify malicious activity on the networks of industrial control systems and strengthens our defenses against the increasing number of cyber-attacks, it fails to meaningfully respond to repeated requests from our partners in the federal government related to improving situational awareness on cyber-attacks in order to better understand trends in adversary behavior,” Clarke said.

Malliotakis said she voted for the bill because it’s critically important to fund the country’s national defense for security purposes.”

“During a time when we are seeing increased aggression by China, Russia, Turkey and Iran, it is important that we properly fund our defense, national security, hypersonic capability and increase the salaries of our military men and women who risk so much,” said Malliotakis.

“This bill not only does that but it also includes my language that requires full disclosure regarding kidnapping attempts by Iran. And as you remember, there was a foiled kidnapping attempt in Brooklyn of an Iranian-American journalist. It [the bill] would require full disclosure of classified information related to kidnap attempts by the Iranian government,” she added.