WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of House Armed Services Committee, voted against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would expand U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan, permit indefinite detention on American soil, and commit to building a multi-billion dollar missile program on the East Coast that the Pentagon says is unneeded and many experts say would not work. Throughout the NDAA process, Congressman Garamendi advocated for vital institutions in Northern California, including Travis and Beale Air Force Bases, the national labs in Livermore, research universities, and high-tech businesses.
"This bill commits more American soldiers to a war that has already cost us dearly in blood and treasure without strengthening our national security," said Congressman Garamendi.
The legislation authorizes tens of billions in spending for the war in Afghanistan, the deployment of thousands more American soldiers, and could expand the mission of the war to protecting the Karzai government, which will indefinitely extend the war.
Congressman Garamendi supports decreasing the number of troops and narrowing the mission from counterinsurgency to counterterrorism, so that the war can be brought to an end.
"The NDAA allows the Executive Branch the power to detain individuals indefinitely without giving them their day in court," said Congressman Garamendi. "Not only does this subvert the core principles embedded in our Constitution, this policy prevents our judicial system from trying and punishing anyone who would harm Americans. Instead of allowing terrorists to hang in legal limbo, we must bring them to justice."
The Congressman cosponsored and voted for the bipartisan Due Process Amendment to rectify this flawed provision.
Vital Northern California Defense Missions
Congressman Garamendi fought for and will continue to support policies that help Northern California carry out essential defense missions.
The NDAA contained a provision that would weaken health and safety requirements at nuclear facilities, such as those in Livermore. The Congressman voted for an amendment that would have removed this dangerous provision. He will continue to stand for the highest safety standards at nuclear facilities.
Although it was ruled out of order, the Congressman offered an amendment that would have required a study before transferring construction of a maintenance training facility for the Broad Aerial Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) system from Beale Air Force Base to Point Mugu Naval Air Station.
Garamendi was successful in fighting off an attempt to remove the MC-12 and Global Hawk Block 30 missions out of Beale Air Force Base.
He also authored an amendment, which was incorporated into the legislation, that will encourage collaboration between defense University Affiliated Research Centers and other university based research centers on energy initiatives.
The Congressman's amendment to require an assessment of America's manufacturing capability to produce three-dimensional integrated circuits and small-lot quantities of advanced semiconductors passed the House today as part of a unanimous "en bloc" amendment. This technology is critical to national security community as the building blocks of intelligence, defense, power grid, and telecommunications systems.
On the House Floor, the Congressman offered the final amendment to the legislation, which would have created American jobs by requiring that naval and U.S. flagged vessels providing service to the Federal Government may not be overhauled, repaired, or maintained in a shipyard outside the U.S. without a waiver from the Secretary of Defense.
This amendment was defeated by the Republican Majority, dealing a blow to the working men and women of American ports.