Democracy Awards

Defense and Veterans

Summary of Position

Threats to our country are constantly evolving, and we must evolve with them. The security of our nation and the welfare of our veterans are some of Congressman DeSaulnier’s top priorities. Mark is committed to providing our nation’s current and past service members with the supports they need to live fulfilling lives while on duty and when they return home – treatment that they have earned through their selfless sacrifices for our nation.

By the Numbers

  • At least $125 billion in wasteful spending buried by senior Department of Defense officials.
  • Nearly 20.5 million veterans are living in the United States.
  • Cyber attacks, an increasing trend our defense systems must protect against, is estimated to amass $6 trillion in damages annually by 2021.

Things to Know

  • Opposed every defense spending bill since coming to Congress due to wasteful spending and lack of an audit
  • Opposed each Defense authorization bill (NDAA) since coming to congress due to lack of accountability and oversight
  • Successfully included an amendment in the NDAA to provide financial transparency for servicemembers separating from the Armed Services

Working for You

Demanding Department of Defense Accountability:
The Department of Defense is the only federal agency to never undergo a full audit despite evidence of billions of dollars in waste every year. Until an audit is completed, we cannot accurately identify which programs need funding and what spending is appropriate. To encourage an expedited overview, Congressman DeSaulnier supports the Audit the Pentagon Act (H.R. 3079), which would decree 0.5% from the Defense budget each year an audit is not completed.

Protecting Veterans’ Benefits:
For years the VA has been withholding disability payments from veterans who received separation pay when leaving the military. To stop this injustice, Mark joined Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) in authoring the Restore Veterans’ Compensation Act (H.R. 4016), which would prevent the VA from withholding disability pay in order to recoup separation payments made to veterans. 

Keeping the Administration Accountable:
In an ever-changing security landscape, it is imperative that we follow the checks and balances laid out in the Constitution for our nation’s leaders. To have faith in that system, Congressman DeSaulnier supports the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (H.R. 669) and the No Unconstitutional Strike against North Korea Act (H.R. 4140).

For a downloadable copy of Mark's defense and veterans work, click the image below: