Thursday, December 4, 2014

Slush Funds, Sacred Land Sales, and Lots of Weapons: FY 2015 NDAA Passes 300 to 119.

Yesterday, Democrats and Republicans decided that they could stop pretending to care about deficits and pass a bunch of corporate tax breaks.

Today, they showed us yet again that no one cares about the deficit except when it can be used as a rhetorical tool to cut social welfare spending and passed the deficit-increasing $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The FY 2015 NDAA is filled with wonders of bipartisan legislating: prohibitions on ending unnecessary weapons programs, a maintenance of existing prohibitions on releasing/transferring those imprisoned by the US at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, more military aid for Ukraine, more military aid for the Syrian rebels, even more military aid for Israel than Obama asked for, requirements to keep nuclear weapons in "warm" status so that they can potentially be used, $63.7 billion for the Pentagon slush fund, and the sale of sacred Native American lands to a foreign mining company.

Wait, there's a sale of sacred Native American lands in the NDAA?

Of course there is:
The defense authorization act...also included a deal to give an Australian-English mining firm 2,400 acres of federal land in Arizona that includes sites sacred to the Apache and Yavapai tribes.
The firm, Rio Tinto, owns a uranium mine in Africa in which Iran owns a 15 percent stake. A bill that backers could not get through Congress was added to the must-pass NDAA negotiations between Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who both will soon retire from the Armed Services Committee chairmanships. It gives Rio Tinto, through a subsidiary called Resolution Copper, ownership of vast acreage in the Tonto National Forest to mine copper. Many believe that copper will be shipped to China, which owns 10 percent of Rio Tinto.
But don't worry: there's still no authorization for the US's bombing campaign against ISIS. Money for it? Sure. But an AUMF would require debate and, well, there's just never time. 
The NDAA passed with a comfortable margin of 300 to 119.

194 Republicans and 106 Democrats voted for it. 32 Republicans and 87 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 87 Democrats:

Karen Bass (CA-37)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Tony Cardenas (CA-29)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
Judy Chu (CA-32)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Katherine Clarke (MA-05)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Joe Crowley (NY-14)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Diana DeGette (CO-01)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)
Dan Kildee (MI-05)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Grace Meng (NY-06)

Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Donald Payne (NJ-10)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Jose Serrano (NY-15)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Henry Waxman (CA-33)
Pete Welch (VT-AL)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Here are the 32 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
David Brat (VA-07)
Paul Broun (GA-10)
Curt Clawson (FL-19)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Trey Gowdy (SC-04)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Raul Labrador (ID-01)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Richard Nugent (FL-11)
Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Bill Posey (FL-08)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Dennis Ross (FL-15)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Mike Simpson (ID-02)
Steve Stockman (TX-36)
Glenn Thompson (PA-05)
Randy Weber (TX-14)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

If you were to actually look for the NDAA on the House Clerk's website, you might have trouble at first. Then you will realize that it was attached as an amendment to the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014, which passed unanimously earlier this year.

Don't you love Congress?

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