The U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act Thursday, but one of Wisconsin’s representatives believes it’s a bad bill.
3rd District Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse says the bill fails to address excess spending and the continued funding of things the Pentagon doesn’t even want anymore. “I voted no against the National Defense Authorization Act because, first of all, we’re running huge budget deficits and we still have weapons programs that are 300-billion dollars over budget because of cost overruns, and contract changes. We can’t afford business as usual anymore.”
Kind says the defense bill was pushed through without much discussion and without changing a wasteful procurement system. “At the very least, we should be having hearings talking about procurement reform. None of that took place in this defense bill. It was the same-old-same-old, and we owe a higher responsibility to the American taxpayer than that.”
The La Crosse Democrat has been opposed to additional military action in the middle east. Kind says he’s extremely disappointed this defense bill didn’t have hearings to discuss what is going on with our soldiers and resources right now. “We should be debating about the authorization on the use of military force in Iraq and Syria now. We’ve got bombing missions going on, we’ve got military advisors and trainers out in the field, and there’s no discussion about this plan or strategy in Congress. This is the opportunity to do it.”
Kind says the defense bill also slams an energy producing industry that is big in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin is becoming the mecca for biofuels research and development, and there was language included in the defense bill that specifically prohibits any biofuels use for our military, even though this is exactly what the Pentagon is calling for. It was included in there because of big oil interests. That is bad policy.”
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives 300-to-119. It is on the U.S. Senate schedule for next week.