Veterans advocacy group slams Congress for failure to include critical war powers reforms in NDAA, condemns skyrocketing topline budget increase
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) on Wednesday weighed in on the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. The group condemned Congress for continuing to put the U.S. on an unsustainable path by increasing the defense budget $45 billion over the amount requested by the Biden administration. CVA also slammed Congress for again neglecting its constitutional role in questions of war and peace by failing to repeal outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force.
CVA Executive Director Russ Duerstine, issued the following statement ahead of the House vote on the NDAA:
“This year’s defense authorization bill reflects Washington’s failed, undisciplined leadership and lack of accountability to the American people. America’s defense budget needs to be sustainable for U.S. strategy to be credible. A nearly $860 billion dollar DoD topline, well over the Pentagon’s request, is not tenable and will exacerbate the long-term national security threats of our $31 trillion national debt and staggering inflation.
Congress also had an opportunity and a duty to reassert its role in deciding when and why we send our men and women into harm’s way. But it failed to include repeals of outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force in the NDAA, leaving the door open for presidents to take America to war without congressional approval—a dereliction of Congress’ constitutional duty.
In the 118th Congress, lawmakers must put defense spending on a sustainable path and honor their responsibility to make tough decisions on war and peace.”
CVA has been working to repeal outdated AUMFs for years, making it a priority for its grassroots and advocacy efforts in its annual policy agendas (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022). This year, the House of Representatives was successful in voting to repeal the 2002 AUMF, which authorized the Iraq War. A bill to do so in the Senate commanded widespread support as well.
CVA has been staunch in its support of lawmakers who have taken a principled stand and worked to repeal these measures in the past. In 2019, CVA welcomed the addition of the bipartisan War Powers Caucus to Congress, applauding lawmakers for prioritizing the issue. CVA also launched a digital ad campaign thanking lawmakers for standing against endless war, praising lawmakers for voting to ensure proper Congressional input before engaging in matters of military force.