The House Voted for $37 Billion More in Military Spending Than Biden Asked for.

Jonathan Cohn
11 min readJul 20, 2022

Last Thursday, the US House voted 329–101 to approve the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The $839 billion authorization was even $37 billion more than the Biden administration asked for.

While Democrats and Republicans joined hands to vote for more war spending, remember that the Pentagon has never passed an audit.

39 Democrats and 62 Republicans voted against the NDAA. Here are the 39 Democrats:

But before ultimately voting for this, the House voted on A LOT of amendments. Here is a review of those votes.

Combating the Growth of Neo-Nazi Activity in the Military & Police

Brad Schneider (IL-10) put forth an amendment to direct the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Defense to publish a report that analyzes and sets out strategies to combat White supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the uniformed services and Federal law enforcement agencies every six months.

The amendment passed 218 to 208, on a party line vote. Not a single Republican voted yes.

Pete Aguilar (CA-31) put forth an amendment to require the Department of Defense to update Congress on the status of implementing the recommendations from the October 2021 report on screening individuals entering the military for extremist affiliations.

It passed 217 to 206, with only Republican Fred Upton (MI-06) voting with Democrats.

Combating the Spread of Malign Disinformation

Linda Sánchez (CA-38) put forth an amendment to request that the Department of Defense produce a report on the spread of malign disinformation within the ranks and ways in which the Department is currently working to mitigate the spread and impact of malign disinformation.

The amendment failed 207 to 2019, with 10 Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.

Those 10 Democrats were Angie Craig (MN-02), Sharice Davis (KS-03), Jared Golden (ME-02), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Raj Krishanmoorthi (IL-08), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).

DC’s Authority over Its National Guard

Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) put forth an amendment to give the Mayor of the District of Columbia the same authority over the DC National Guard that the governors of states and territories have over their National Guards.

The amendment passed 218 to 209. The vote was party line, except for Jared Golden (ME-02) voting with Republicans and Fred Upton (MI-06) voting with Democrats.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) put forth an amendment to strike the prohibition on the reduction of the total number of nuclear armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles deployed in the United States.

The amendment failed 156 to 270. Only two Republicans voted for it: Dan Bishop (NC-09) and Tom Massie (KY-04). 64 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 64:

John Garamendi (CA-03) offered an amendment to prevent testing and development of the new Sentinel (GBSD) nuclear missile and instead extends the existing Minuteman III ICBM through at least 2040.

It failed 118 to 309. 117 Democrats and 1 Republican (Bishop) voted for it. 101 Democrats and 208 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 101:

The only Republican supporter was Dan Bishop (NC-09).

Bill Foster (IL-11) put forth an amendment to repeal the restriction on funding for the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

It passed 216 to 209, a party line vote except for Angie Craig (MN-02) voting with Republicans.

Reducing Pentagon Bloat

Adam Smith (WA-09) offered an amendment to allow the Navy to retire nine Littoral Combat Ships.

It failed 208 to 221. 199 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted for it, and 202 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted against it.

The 19 Democrats were Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Ed Case (HI-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Val Demings (FL-10), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Al Lawson (FL-05), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Scott Peters (CA-52), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Darren Soto (FL-09), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).

The 9 Republicans were Tom Massie (KY-04), Don Bacon (NE-02), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Scott Perry (PA-10), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Chip Roy (TX-21), Michael Cloud (TX-27), and Glenn Grothman (WI-06).

Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) put forth an amendment to repeal the statutory requirement for the Defense Department to submit unfunded priorities lists to Congress.

It failed 155 to 272. 154 Democrats and 1 Republican — Tom McClintock (CA-04) — voted for it. 209 Republicans and 63 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 63 Democrats:

Barbara Lee (CA-13) put forth an amendment to reduce the amount authorized by the bill by approximately $37 billion, simply reducing it to the amount Biden asked for.

It failed 151 to 277. 137 Democrats and 14 Republicans voted for it, and 196 Republicans and 81 Democrats voted against it. Here are the 81:

Lee also offered an amendment to reduce the bill’s authorized amount by $100 billion without modifying amounts authorized for harmless personnel, civilian pay and benefits, and the Defense Health Program.

It failed 78 to 350. 77 Democrats and 1 Republican (again, Dan Bishop) voted for it, and 141 Democrats and 209 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 77 Democrats who voted FOR it (and should be commended):

Reducing Civilian Casualties

Ro Khanna (CA-17) put forth an amendment to authorize up to $5 million per year from FY23-FY25 for the Department of Defense for resources to implement requirements passed in 2018 relating to civilian harm mitigation, including staffing, training, and information technology equipment and data storage.

It passed 215 to 212. Three Democrats — Angie Craig (MN-02), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05) — voted no with Republicans.

Combating Discrimination, Harassment, and Assault

Veronica Escobar (TX-16) put forth an amendment to require that complaints from a member of the Armed Forces of harassment or prohibited discrimination be completed within 180 days, and allows for members to seek review or appeal in a U.S. court if they wished to after the 180 days are exhausted.

It passed 219 to 209. John Katko (NY-24) voted yes with Democrats.

Jackie Speier (CA-14) put forth an amendment to incentivize states to enact, at a minimum, the rights afforded to victims in the Survivors Bill of Rights Act. The federal bill, passed in 2016, overhauls how rape kits are handled and codified the following rights

  • The right not to be prevented from, or charged for, receiving a medical forensic examination.
  • The right to have a sexual assault evidence collection kit or its probative contents preserved without charge for the statutory limitations period or 20 years, whichever is shorter.
  • The right to be informed of results of a sexual assault evidence collection kit.
  • The right to be informed in writing of policies governing the kit’s collection and preservation.
  • The right, if the government intends to destroy or dispose of the kit, to receive written notice not later than 60 days before the date of the intended destruction or disposal, and the right, upon written request, to have the kit preserved.

It passed 222 to 195. Only 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it: Kelly Armstrong ND-AL), Brain Fitzpatrick, Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Chris Jacobs (NY-27), John Katko (NY-24), Young Kim (CA-39), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Julia Letlow (LA-05), David McKinley (WV-01), Marionette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Chris Smith (NJ-04), and Ann Wagner (MO-02).

Supporting Local Economies & Unions

Andy Kim (NJ-03) offered an amendment to add provisions of the Put Our Neighbors to Work Act to require DoD, to the extent practicable, to give preference for military construction contracts to firms that certify that at least 51 percent of employees hired to perform the work shall reside in the same state or within a 60-mile radius, and to require contractors and subcontractors for military construction projects to be licensed in the state where the work is to be performed.

It passed 220 to 207. 212 Democrats and 8 Republicans voted for it, and 201 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted against it.

The six Democrats were Jackie Speier (CA-14), Karen Bass (CA-37), Stephen Murphy (FL-07), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Elaine Luria (VA-02).

The eight Republicans were Mike Bost (IL-12), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Jeff Van Drew (IL-02), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and David McKinley (WV-01).

Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) put forth an amendment to establish a preference for Department of Defense contractors that meet certain labor standards.

It passed 220 to 209. 214 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted for it, and 205 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted against it.

The 4 Democrats were Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05).

The 6 Republicans were Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), John Katko (NY-24), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Fred Upton (MI-06), and Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02).

Mondaire Jones (NY-17) offered an amendment to prohibit the Department of Defense from contracting with any employer found to have engaged in an unfair labor practice, defined by Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), in the three years preceding a contract award date.

It passed 221 to 207. 214 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted for it, and 204 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against it.

The 3 Democrats were Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08). The 7 Republicans were Tom Emmer (MN-06), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), John Katko (NY-24), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01).

Government Accessibility

Adam Schiff (CA-28) put forth an amendment to require proceedings for military commissions to be publicly available on the internet.

It passed 218 to 207, with Tom Massie (KY-04) voting with Democrats.

Combating Pollution

Andy Levin (MI-09) offered an amendment to require the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to submit a report to Congress on the progress of the Department’s implementation of on-site PFAS destruction technologies not requiring incineration and extends the moratorium on PFAS incineration enacted in the FY22 NDAA.

It passed 223 to 196. 15 Republicans voted for it with Democrats; Kurt Schrader (OR-05) voted no.

Suicide Prevention

Jackie Speier (CA-14) put forth an amendment to establish a voluntary, opt-in pilot program for the purpose of suicide prevention in which troops could obtain gun safes, locks, or other safety devices.

It passed 226 to 203. Only 7 Republicans voted for it: Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Fred Upton (MI-06), John Katko (NY-24), David Joyce (OH-14), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03).

Climate Change

Bill Keating (MA-09) put forth an amendment to require the State Department to establish and staff Climate Change Officer positions to be posted at US embassies, consulates, or diplomatic missions to provide climate change mitigation expertise, engage with international entities on climate change, and facilitate bilateral and multilateral cooperation on climate change.

It failed 208 to 217.

Only 1 Republican voted yes: Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01). Eight Democrats voted no: Angie Craig (MN-02), Jared Golden (ME-02), Jim Himes (CT-04), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), and Susan Wild (PA-07).

Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) put forth an amendment to establish an Office of Climate Resilience.

It failed 207 to 219.

Only 1 Republican voted yes: Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and 9 Democrats voted no: Angie Craig (MN-02), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Jared Golden (ME-02), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), David Trone (MD-06), and Susan Wild (PA-07).

Increasing Oversight over US Military Aid

Norma Torres (CA-35) put forth an amendment to require additional notifications and oversight of Section 333 funding for the governments of the Northern Triangle (i.e., Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador). Section 333 is US military aid to foreign security forces.

It failed 209 to 217, with 7 Democrats joining with Republicans to defeat it.

The 7 Republicans were Angie Craig (MN-02), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Jared Golden (ME-02), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08).

Frank Pallone (NJ-06) put forth an amendment to prohibit Biden from selling or exporting new F-16s or F-16 upgrade technology or modernization kits to Turkey unless he provides a certification to Congress that such a transfer is in the national interest of the United States and includes a detailed description of concrete steps taken to ensure that such F-16s are not used by Turkey for repeated unauthorized territorial overflights of Greece.

It passed 244 to 179.

184 Democrats and 60 Republicans voted for it, and 149 Republicans and 30 Democrats voted against it. Here are the 30 who voted NO:

Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) offered an amendment to prohibit US military presence in Syria without Congressional approval within one year of enactment.

It failed 155 to 273. 130 Democrats and 25 Republicans voted for it, and 185 Republicans and 88 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 88 Democrats who voted NO:

Military Support for Fighting Wildfires

John Garamendi (CA-03) put forth an amendment to waive current laws requirement that FEMA or federal land management agencies reimburse DOD (with civilian funds) for cost of military support for disaster response to major wildfires or federally declared disasters/emergencies.

It failed 195 to 232. 193 Democrats and 2 Republicans — Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Fred Upton (MI-06) — voted for it, and 208 Republicans and 24 Democrats voted against it.

The 24 Democrats were Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Angie Craig (MN-03), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Raj Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Conor Lamb (PA-17), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Susie Lee (NV-03), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Joe Morelle (NY-25), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Dina Titus (NV-01), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Susan Wild (PA-07).

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Jonathan Cohn

Editor. Bibliophile. Gadfly. Environmentalist. Super-volunteer for progressive campaigns. Boston by way of Baltimore, London, NYC, DC, and Philly.