Oct 1, 2015 Issues: Armed Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) gave this statement on passage of the conference report for H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2016:

“Today I voted no on the NDAA conference report for fiscal year 2016, which passed the House this afternoon. While this bill contains many good things, it does nothing to stem the waste, fraud, and abuse of U.S. taxpayers’ money in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, it authorizes the borrowing of another $38 billion – much of it from foreign powers like China and Russia – to finance the emergency overseas operations (OCO) account that has morphed into a slush fund for wasteful spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.  At a time when the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, repeatedly reports that waste of federal funds in Afghanistan is worse than ever, it is inexcusable for Congress to continue to enable it.  While this legislation provides more money for the endless wars in the Middle East, this bill cuts the Basic Housing Allowance for service members and increases Tricare copays on prescriptions, hurting members of our military who have put their lives on the line to serve our country.  The corruption and the waste have to stop, both overseas and here at home.  I will continue to do everything I can to ensure a strong national defense while cutting out the waste of American tax dollars and protecting the benefits our troops deserve.”