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Mo Brooks defends vote against NDAA — ‘There were lots of Democrat socialist wish list-type items’

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is now making its way through the Senate.

Alabama’s congressional delegation voted 5-2 in support of the bill, with the only two members voting against it being U.S. Reps. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

Brooks joined WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program” on Tuesday to explain why he voted against this year’s defense appropriations package.

“We can and should do better as the United State Congress than this bill reflects,” said Brooks. “By way of example, America is suffering from nine-plus percent inflation. One of the big drivers of that inflation is our deficit and debt. None of this $850 billion in spending is paid for. It’s one thing to increase national defense spending, which I tend to favor because that’s the number one priority of the federal government. It’s another thing to increase our debt which in turn drives up inflation because it devalues our currency.”

The congressman argued that this specific bill included too many provisions that had nothing to do with funding national security.

“There were lots of Democrat socialist wish list type items in the bill,” he said. “What happens in Washington is you have a bill that should pass, must pass, spending bills that we close the government over if we don’t pass… with the House it’s the National Defense Authorization Act, and so the liberals know to pile really bad things into this legislation that have nothing to do with national defense.”

Brooks then outlined some of the specific measures in the legislation that he explained had no place in an NDAA bill.

“Reduction of penalties for crack cocaine possession use and sale,” he explained. “Most people would agree that has nothing to do with the National Defense Authorization Act, that has nothing to do with national security, yet the Democrats put a weak on crime provision in the NDAA.”

He also pointed out one section of the bill that would actually hurt America’s national security because it harmed the country’s energy industry.

“We had another provision that’s related to public lands,” he continued, “that’s totally unrelated to national defense, which also included the expansion of federal lands and cancellation of oil and gas leases on certain federally lands. Now, think about that for a second. We’ve got spiraling energy costs, gasoline prices have gone way up, diesel has gone way up, and here we are canceling in this National Defense Authorization Act any number of oil and gas leases.”

Brooks said it was hard for Republicans to vote against these bills because their opponents would then accuse them of being against helping the military.

“Unfortunately, the message coming out of Alabama,” he said, “is you better not stand for conservative principles because if you do, like I did last September and like I did last week, if you stand for conservative principles; if you try to defeat them when they are attacked by liberals to these must-pass legislations, you will be branded as anti-military, which in turn can be used against you in a campaign.”

The congressman ended up voting in favor of last year’s NDAA after it was cleaned up in the Senate, but he said he was not optimistic that the Senate would do its job in getting rid of the bad provisions this time.

“[T]he more of this far left wing woke type legislation that is in the National Defense Authorization Act,” he advised, “the more that’s going to actually get through because the Senate is not going to be able to clean it all up. Plus the senators are going to look at what the House did and to some degree, they’re going to be more apt to support these positions simply because the House has, and when you get to the conference committees, these are things that they’re in the base bill that passes the House, and if it passes the House by a significant majority then it’s much much much more likely that those provisions will end up in the final legislation.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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