Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There's Always More Money for War according to These 21 Senate Democrats

Last Friday, the House voted 270 to 156 to pass the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act. 146 House Democrats followed the party leadership in voting against it, while 37 defected and voted for it.

Yesterday, the Senate took a cloture vote on the bill.

Before looking at the vote, let me just quote myself from last week:
The US has the largest military budget in the world. It is larger than those of the next nine countries combined.
The Pentagon is also notoriously wasteful and has consistently avoided a federal audit.
There are roughly 800 US military bases in foreign countries despite the fact that the US faces no existential threats.
But, to Congress, the military always needs more money.
Congressional Republicans, who have no problem with sequestration cuts on social programs, hate sequestration cuts on the Pentagon. So, as a trick to get around them, they put $89.2 billion in the unaccountable slush fund called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This is on top of the already bloated base budget of $515 billion.
The FY16 NDAA, of course, also imposes more unnecessary restrictions on releasing/transferring prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, further entrenching a moral and constitutional abomination that undermines US security abroad.
Obama has said that he plans to veto it, but he has always said that with the NDAA and never has.

However, if the final vote looks like the cloture vote (as it likely will), then his veto would be overriden anyway.

The cloture motion on the NDAA passed 73 to 26. All Republicans, with the exception of Rand Paul (R-KY), voted for it. 21 Democrats joined them, and 26 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 21 members of the Democratic caucus who joined the GOP:

Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

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