The “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA, S.2943) is currently up for debate on the Senate floor after passing the House over two weeks ago; with close to 100 amendments let’s suffice it to say it is a wild week here in the nation’s capital. The President has already threatened to veto the NDAA if it arrives on his desk with some certain pesky and restrictive amendments which were part of the House version of the bill. Well, Mr. President, we want to add a few more reasons for you to veto this “must-pass” legislation if you’re seriously considering it. Let’s start with something we’ll cover more extensively when we get to talking about New York Governor Cuomo: an anti-BDS amendment. A host of Senators filed an anti-BDS amendment to the NDAA that would permit states to divest from companies which are engaged in BDS against Israel. There’s also Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s (R, FL-27) amendment in the form of a Sense of Congress that states “the U.S. should use its voice, vote, and influence at the UN to improve the Human Rights Council (HRC) voting behavior vis-à-vis Israel.” I guess we could live with this amendment if it was angling to make the U.S. more helpful in passing votes calling out Israel’s human rights practices, but we’re pretty sure that’s not what the Congresswoman from Florida is calling for. And another reason to veto: a few members are trying to pull a fast one to perpetuate secrecy around some of the most legally dubious Department of Defense (DoD) programs, including the Department’s use of interrogation techniques. Two amendments would exempt DoD from “Freedom of Information Act” requests, therefore burying hopes of transparency and accountability. If that passes, maybe the government won’t have to “lose” any future Torture Reports. And that’s not all, the Senate is also cutting funding to the morally imperative “Special Immigrant Visa Program” which resettles Afghani translators who served alongside U.S. forces. Mr. President, there’s a lot to be concerned about – this isn’t even our whole list.

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