STATEMENT: CAP’s Kelly Magsamen Praises House Passage of National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which prohibits the unauthorized military force against Iran, reverses President Donald Trump’s policy barring most transgender people from serving in the military by codifying non-discrimination protections, and provides 12 weeks of paid family medical leave to federal employees for qualified purposes. In response, Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This bill sends an important message to the Trump White House that strong congressional oversight on defense is back. It provides a critical check against the Trump administration’s reckless actions on Iran that could lead to an unnecessary and unauthorized war. It cuts off arms sales and U.S. military support to the Saudi-led war in Yemen and restricts Defense Department border wall funding. And it encourages a responsible policy on North Korea, led by real diplomacy to safeguard U.S. interests and bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. The measure also ends the administration’s dehumanizing policy that prevents transgender people from serving their country. All those who meet the military’s standards should be able to serve openly, proudly, and without fear of discrimination. Finally, guaranteeing 12 weeks of comprehensive paid family and medical leave to more than 2 million federal employees will ensure that they can care for themselves or a loved one without sacrificing a paycheck. The policy establishes that the federal government should be a model employer with modern workplace standards that invests in the well-being of its workers and their families. The U.S. Senate should act quickly to pass this legislation.

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