The Pentagon Failed Its Fourth Audit. Congress Voted to Give It More Money Anyway.

Jonathan Cohn
3 min readDec 8, 2021

Earlier today, the US House voted 363 to 70 in favor of the almost $770 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2022 after the House and Senate came to an agreement on final language.

Note that this is $25 billion more than what Biden asked for (which itself was high).

None of the “centrist” Democrats or Republicans who complained about the cost of the Build Back Better Act have said a peep about the ever-growing Pentagon budget — and the fact that it is somehow still growing even despite the Afghanistan pullout. It has grown about 25% in size over the past five years, even though the Pentagon just failed its fourth audit last month.

Only 51 Democrats voted against the NDAA:

This is larger than it was back in September, when only 38 Democrats opposed the NDAA. 16 Democrats who voted for the NDAA in September opposed it today: Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Judy Chu (CA-27), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Diane DeGette (CO-01), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Al Green (TX-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Katie Porter (CA-45), Mark Takano (CA-41), and Nydia Velazquez (NY-07).

3 Democrats who opposed the NDAA in September flipped to be supportive: Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), and Dan Kildee (MI-05).

Below, you can find some of the NO voters explaining their (very good) reasoning. Many of them highlight how the money from the bloated Pentagon budget could better be spent to improve quality of life here at home, or how the final bill stripped out language on holding Saudi Arabia accountable for human rights abuses and watered down protections against sexual assault in the military.



Jonathan Cohn

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