A key progressive House Democrat has said he is likely going to vote against the chamber’s version of a massive annual defense policy bill, threatening the legislation’s success in an upcoming floor vote.
Rep. Mark Pocan told The Washington Times Thursday he’s “very likely a ‘no’” vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and cited the $733 billion overall funding number for the Pentagon as the main reason he is unlikely to support it.
The Wisconsin Democrat joins several progressive members who are resisting the bill and have pushed for a lower number. Many have said the funding increase could create a “slush fund” for the Pentagon, but Mr. Pocan appears to be the first to declare that he intends to vote against the legislation.
The Senate has already passed its own $750 billion version of the NDAA, matching the request from the Trump administration.
Mr. Pocan said that the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus is “not actively whipping against” the bill, and praised House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, Washington state Democrat, for reaching out to progressives to get their support of the bill.
Mr. Pocan’s comments come after days of uncertainty that several liberal members could sink the upcoming vote on the NDAA, which traditionally receives bipartisan support.
Despite fears that the bill might not make it through a floor vote, Democratic representatives, including Mr. Smith, have recently expressed confidence the bill will pass. House members were working through scores of amendments to the bill Thursday.
• Gabriella Munoz contributed to this report.