Rep. Chip Roy On FY20 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report, S. 1790

December 11, 2019
Press Release

Rep. Chip Roy released the following statement following voting YES in support of adopting the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report, S. 1790.

“Today I cast my vote in support of the FY20 NDAA Conference Report, supporting a 3.1% pay raise for our men and women in uniform. Funding of projects and programs vital to our national security and fixing the long-overdue Widow’s Tax provision to eliminate the needless loss of benefits for those whose spouses have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For Texas, the NDAA ensures that the RC-26B, a vital Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform used by the Texas National Guard and others along the Southwest border, remains in operation until a replacement can be developed and acquired.  

The report also contains vital military construction project authorizations for funds to backfill projects whose funds were reallocated via the use of emergency authorities earlier this year for border wall enhancement and construction – covering the Dining Facility at Camp Bullis.

The bill also funds several projects at Joint Base San Antonio and allows for successful sustainment of Army Futures Command, while also requiring a new quarterly report to Congress with updates on the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Program

On a national level, the FY20 NDAA provides the resources to continue to rebuild readiness, advance modernization of the nuclear triad, develop emerging technologies, enhance missile defense, and confront our adversaries.

The bill includes $500 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, funds the president’s budget request for Nuclear National Security Administration, and does not prohibit the deployment of low-yield nuclear weapons. Further, the report does not include any prohibitions on funding a border wall nor restrictions affecting the counterdrug programs that construct fences along the border to block drug smuggling corridors. The long-standing prohibitions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay, constructing detention facilities in the U.S., and closing Guantanamo remain intact.

The bill also establishes the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the military and applies sanctions the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, North Korean imports and exports of coal and other minerals, and those who supported the Assad regime.

Despite these many positive inclusions, Republicans won’ by keeping status quo on issues important to us like military personnel policy, funding transfers authority, and development of certain weapons systems and platforms.  This bill is not a real win for Republicans or Conservatives because it predominately maintains the status quo. And ultimately, it fails to do the hard work incumbent upon Congress to make decisions on when to use force and when to send our men and women into harm’s way through authorizations for use of military force (AUMF’s).

This bill spends in excess of $70 billion on money for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget to continue the 18+ year long war in Afghanistan and the spawns of this original war in over a dozen countries all over the globe. We are throwing more money and equipment at our warfighter without clarifying their mission.

When Osama bin Laden, Sadam Hussein, and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi are all dead, we owe it to the men and women in uniform to tell them why they must fight to the death overseas. We must redefine the war on terror and recalibrate our military to pivot to near-peer and future peer threats, while continuing to fight terrorists. This bill fails to do that. We fail to give our men and women in uniform a clear mission. We give them the tools. And through the VA we take care of them, but again have abdicated our responsibility and bypassed the chance to tell our nation’s heroes why they fight."