WASHINGTON — The Congressional Progressive Caucus advanced key priorities throughout the House Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process. The CPC secured debates and votes on dozens of amendments that strengthen labor and civil rights for service members, minimize civilian harm abroad, reassert congressional war powers, reduce wasteful Pentagon spending, reduce costly and unnecessary nuclear weapons programs, and advance innovative approaches to public health, including authorizing low-cost federal production of insulin for the first time.

The amendments build on longstanding progressive advocacy, including repealing the 2002 Authorization of Use of Military Force against Iraq, divesting from excess militarism and endless wars to invest in American communities, and prohibiting the unauthorized military presence in Syria, as well as addressing new and urgent crises including conducting critical oversight over the conflict in Ukraine.

The CPC also worked to ensure that the Democratic House uses this governing moment to advance just and progressives priorities in the NDAA including: requiring detailed evaluation on the benefits of nonexclusive licensing for an eventual vaccine emerging from taxpayer-financed COVID19 research, preferencing contractors that respect the rights of workers, preventing forced arbitration of contracts involving servicemembers, prohibiting stock holding and trading by senior Pentagon officials, allowing state-legal cannabis businesses to access the banking system, and increasing wages for lower-paid servicemembers.

CPC Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) said: “This year’s House NDAA process has included robust debate and votes on key progressive priorities that advance peace, reduce waste, promote transparency, and restore Congress’s authority over war. For too long, Congress has allowed the Pentagon and its contractors to operate without sufficient oversight and accountability. Far too often, our brave servicemembers have been directed to participate in conflicts that neither further vital national security interests nor have the congressional authorization as the Constitution requires. I thank House leadership, including Chairs Smith, McGovern and Meeks, for their collaboration and support in this remarkably open process that welcomed the vital policies proposed by our Progressive Caucus members to tackle some of the most urgent crises facing the world today.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus amendments debated and voted on in the National Defense Authorization Act include:

  • Amendment #2 by Mondaire Jones (NY-17): Prohibits 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. Includes an exception for employers who have remedied unfair labor practice violations

  • Amendment #3 by Jan Schakowsky (IL-09): Establishes a preference for Department of Defense contractors that respect workers’ right to organize

  • Amendment #4 by Andy Kim (NJ-03): Establishes a preference for construction firms that hire locally

  • Amendment #8 by Veronica Escobar (TX-16): Requires harassment or discrimination complaints be completed within 180 days, and allows servicemembers to seek review or appeal in a U.S. court afterward

  • Amendment #12 by Ro Khanna (CA-17): Authorizes up to $5 million per year to advance civilian harm mitigation at the Defense Department

  • Amendment #13 by Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02): Reduces the FY23 NDAA topline by $100 billion, leaving health, pay and benefits untouched, citing a Congressional Budget Office study determining the feasibility of such a cut.

  • Amendment #14 by Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02): Reverses the $36.987 billion increase made at committee mark-up and restores the FY23 topline to the amount requested by the President

  • Amendment #15 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Eliminates budgetary waste by repealing the requirement for the Defense Department to submit unfunded priorities lists to Congress

  • Amendment #16 by Adam Smith (WA-09): Allows the Navy to retire nine Littoral Combat Ships

  • Amendment #19 by John Garamendi (CA-03), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08): Prevents testing and development of the new, unnecessary Sentinel (GBSD) nuclear missile and instead extends the existing program through 2040

  • Amendment #20 by Rashida Tlaib (MI-13): Strikes the prohibition on the reduction of the total number of nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) deployed in the United States

  • Amendment #25 by Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC): Gives the Mayor of the District of Columbia the same authority over the D.C. National Guard that the governors of states and territories have over their National Guards 

  • Amendment #384 by Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Cori Bush (MO-01), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Mondaire Jones (NY-17): Prohibits U.S. military presence in Syria without Congressional approval

  • Amendment #392 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Establishes an Office of Climate Resilience

Congressional Progressive Caucus amendments included en bloc for NDAA consideration include:

  • Amendment #22 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14): Adds MDMA and psilocybin as substances authorized for a study on the use of therapies alternative to prescription opioids in the treatment of members of the Armed Forces

  • Amendment #35 by Sara Jacobs (CA-53): Require the Secretary of Defense to report on Department of Defense purchase and use of location data generated by Americans’ phones and their internet metadata

  • Amendment #36 by Ted Lieu (CA-33): Requires the Secretary of State to develop guidance for investigating indications that U.S.-origin defense articles have been used in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition in substantial violation of relevant agreements with countries participating in the coalition and to report to Congress, consistent with GAO recommendations

  • Amendment #37 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires a report on the feasibility, change in price, and equitable access of non-exclusive licensing and government-owned contractor-operated manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines or medical interventions developed by the Department of Defense, including the COVID-19 vaccine under development at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research.

  • Amendment #47 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Directs the Department of Defense to report knowledge from 1980-2010 regarding Colombian military involvement in assassinations, disappearances, collaboration in paramilitary offensives, military conduct, and any gross violations of human rights

  • Amendment #203 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09): Authorizes the Department of Defense to engage in public manufacturing of insulin to meet the needs of military health programs

  • Amendment #204 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03): Directs the Defense Department to provide a report on a risk assessment regarding likelihood of use of a nuclear weapon as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and whether such risk increases as the war continues

  • Amendment #205 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Directs the Defense Department to provide a report on distribution and use of U.S. weaponry provided to Ukraine, including compliance with relevant laws and its efforts to prevent such arms from being sold on the black market or obtained by extremist groups

  • Amendment #104 by Jamaal Bowman (NY-16):  Grants the Secretary of Defense authority to increase the inflation bonus pay above 2.4 percent for servicemembers and DOD civilian employees who make $45,000 or less annually in order to respond to the ongoing economic impact of inflation.

  • Amendment #34 by Sara Jacobs (CA-53) and David Cicilline (RI-01): Requires human rights vetting on U.S. military training and cooperation with foreign forces.

  • Amendment #293 by Katie Porter (CA-45): Prohibits the ownership or trading of stocks by senior officials at the Department of Defense for any company that received over $1 billion in revenue from the Department of Defense during the preceding calendar year.

  • Amendment #383 by Barbara Lee (CA-13): Repeals the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq

  • Amendment #413 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires that federal agencies begin debarment proceedings against federal contractors that have committed two or more violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act within the past five years. Directs the Department of Labor to establish a database of covered entities that have been suspended or debarred for violations of federal labor law

  • Amendment #415 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14): Allows the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs at the Department of Labor to establish compliance procedures for the prohibition on criminal history inquiries by Federal contractors and allows the Department of Labor to investigate compliance by a contractor by conducting a compliance evaluation

  • Amendment #431 by David Cicilline (RI-01): Prevents the enforcement of predispute forced arbitration clauses in any dispute covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

  • Amendment #452 by Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04): Requires a report on the humanitarian impacts of U.S. sanctions

  • Amendment #462 by Katherine Clark (MA-05): Adds the President, Vice President, and any Cabinet member to the current statutory prohibition on members of Congress contracting with the Federal Government

  • Amendment #473 by Earl Blumenauer (OR-03): Authorizes Department of Veterans Affairs providers to assist veterans in providing recommendations, opinions, and completion of the forms reflecting these recommendations or opinions in compliance with state-legal medical cannabis programs

  • Amendment #508 by Adriano Espaillat (NY-13): Requires the Department of Homeland Security to issue a report on cases involving noncitizen service members, veterans and immediate family members of service members in order to connect them with services and resources to assist military members, veterans, and their families

  • Amendment #517 by Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04): Directs the Treasury Department to support a one-year review and suspension of the International Monetary Fund’s surcharge policy, which requires developing countries to pay onerous fees to the IMF besides principal and interest of loans.

  • Amendment #540 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires the State Department to prepare a report to Congress analyzing the effects of government-ordered internet or telecommunications shutdowns on human rights and global security.

  • Amendment #557 by Andy Levin (MI-09): Sense of Congress that it is the policy of the United States to support a Haitian-led solution to the current crisis and that the Haitian people must be empowered to choose their leaders and govern Haiti free from foreign interference.

  • Amendment #578 James McGovern (MA-02): Requires the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights include a list of reports published by U.S. government agencies on the status of internationally recognized human rights in the United States.

  • Amendment #248 James McGovern (MA-02): Requires the Department of Defense, in coordination with USDA, to collect data on food insecurity and usage of federal anti-hunger programs among active duty servicemembers and their families, and to report to Congress on their findings.The amendment also requires DOD to train and designate a point person at military installations on where to refer servicemembers seeking food assistance.

  • Amendment #581 James McGovern (MA-02): Strengthens monitoring, reporting, oversight, and determinations on arms sales and human rights.

  • Amendment #509 by Adriano Espaillat (NY-13): “requires that Veterans Affairs Hospitals submit a Locality Pay Survey to ensure that VA nurse pay stays competitive. This amendment also requires that the Secretary submit a report on the pay rates at VA hospitals to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives”.

  • Amendment #429 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Strengthens the ability of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to provide meaningful oversight of artificial intelligence for counterterrorism purposes.

  • Amendment #576 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Requires federal financial regulatory agencies to adopt specified data standards with respect to format, searchability, and transparency. All data would be made available in an open-source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk and without license restrictions.

  • Amendment #576 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Requires federal financial regulatory agencies to adopt specified data standards with respect to format, searchability, and transparency. All data would be made available in an open-source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk and without license restrictions.

  • Amendment #585 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Requires that menstrual products are stocked in and made available free of charge in all restrooms in public buildings, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the U.S. Capitol.

  • Amendment #586 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Urges the U.S. Secretary of State to consult with South Korean officials on potential opportunities to reunite Korean Americans with family members in North Korea, including by video. Encourages the Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues to work with the Korean American community to identify those same opportunities.

  • Amendment #588 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Ensures recipients of U.S. aid provide safe and secure access to sanitation facilities, with a special emphasis on women and girls, and vulnerable populations.