October 07, 2015

Hirono Calls For Responsible Solutions To Federal Budget

Continues Opposition To Flawed NDAA

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Senate conferee to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), voted against the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report today. While it passed the Senate 70-22, President Obama has vowed to veto the bill because of its use of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund as a budget gimmick to fund the Department of Defense without addressing sequestration.

“While the NDAA includes many provisions that I support, I join President Obama and Ranking Member Jack Reed in opposing the Conference Report,” said Senator Hirono. “Military leaders have testified on how the sequester will cripple readiness and service member morale. This Conference Report does not responsibly address these concerns, instead using OCO to bypass the sequester, leaving domestic programs, including funding for civilian agencies that are critical to national security, to bear the full brunt. We’re one country, and our budget should reflect that value.”

In addition to opposing the NDAA on the Senate floor, Senator Hirono, Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed, and the majority of the Senate’s Democratic conferees declined to sign the Conference Report because it failed to solve the sequester. Under the Conference Report, the Department of Defense would receive nearly $90 billion in funding through OCO, which is exempted from sequestration because the fund is used to pay for ongoing overseas military operations, such as our current troop presence and operations in Afghanistan.