Ranking Member Grijalva: Republicans’ Unrelated Anti-Environment Riders Made Bloated, Misguided DOD Bill Even Worse

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement after voting against this year’s National Defense Authorization Act:

“This bill was unacceptable. After spending nearly $5.6 trillion, taking service members from their families, and prosecuting the so-called ‘War on Terror’ for nearly two decades, the United States has done little to stabilize volatile regions across the world. It’s long past time to fundamentally change course. This measure authorizes half of our discretionary budget to the Pentagon despite internal reports of rampant waste, and I could not support it.

“At the same time, our national defense is too serious an issue to fall victim to Republicans’ destructive environmental gimmicks. Every year they insist on using must-pass bills to rip up sage-grouse habitats and destroy the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and every year the American people wonder what’s wrong with them. Republicans have turned public health and environmental quality into ideological wedge issues, and now we see the unserious results of their efforts.”

Among other features, this year’s House bill weakens Marine Mammal Protection Act safeguards against Navy destruction of whales and dolphins during training and reduces oversight of Navy activities; includes a flagrantly irrelevant amendment that deregulates mining activity under the guise of national security; and undoes years of collaborative attempts to protect sage-grouse habitats across the West.

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