Media Center


WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Democrat infighting nearly prevented passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House of Representatives today.

    The annual defense policy bill, which for 58 years has passed with bipartisan support, instead passed on a party-line vote, surviving only because of concessions to far-left socialists, insisting on the elimination of programs critical to defending the United States from Russia, China, Iran and other adversaries, said Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D.

    A member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Rep. DesJarlais is a strong supporter of improved border security and nuclear technology. He voted against the bill, which would undermine both, he said. “The Senate, as the House usually does, passed this year’s defense authorization by a wide bipartisan margin. In past years, when Republicans held the majority, we’ve offered Democrats abundant opportunities to voice concerns and add amendments. However, with Nancy Pelosi in charge, our colleagues across the aisle have behaved differently, shutting us out of the process.

    “As a result, Congress’ first responsibility, protecting national security, has become another partisan exercise, a product of bitter animosity towards the President, which reverses the progress we’ve made to rebuild the military after years of neglect.”

    Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) is a member of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, as well as the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. In an address to Congress this week, he pointed out provisions in this year’s NDAA that would prevent the deployment of low-yield nuclear weapons to counter Russian technology; force the U.S. to abide by outdated nuclear treaties our adversaries ignore; prohibit military support at the southern border; and release terrorists from Guantanamo Bay military prison.

    The Congressman offered amendments to fix such problems in the legislation. “Amazingly, Democrat leaders rejected these measures, because they would likely pass with bipartisan support, displaying the kind of cynical partisanship that has prevented good legislation from passing the House this term,” said Rep. DesJarlais, who joined HASC Ranking Member Mac Thornberry and every Republican House member in voting no.

     “I’m disappointed we lost an opportunity to work together, and I could not support this NDAA.”