Calif. Lawmaker Casts Sole Dissenting Vote Against War Expansion
SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A California Congressman said on Tuesday he voted against a bill to extend the Afghanistan war because it would have violated his “good conscience”.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek) wrote on his website that he was the sole dissenting voice in a 60-1 vote that ultimately passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Garamendi’s opposition to the bill was not only toward the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, but also focused specifically on Section 1034, which would authorize an expansion of worldwide war authority for U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.
“I cannot in good conscience vote to extend a war without an endgame,” Garamendi said. “To continue to risk the lives of 100,000 American troops in support of the corrupt Karzai government in Afghanistan’s internal civil war is not in the long-term national interest of the United States.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Rep. Garamendi was especially opposed to “the limitless geographic boundaries of the provision” that would allow U.S. counter-terrorism forces to operate anywhere in the world – including within the U.S.
The former Lieutenant Governor of California also took aim at wasteful Pentagon spending, saying it’s “immoral to balance the budget on the backs of families struggling to get by while simultaneously letting the special interests with the best lobbyists continue with business as usual.”