Democrats caved on defense bill


To the editor:

Recently, congressional Democrats sacrificed principle for political expediency.

The House version of the bill which authorizes the Defense Department’s budget contained many important amendments written by Democrats which the Senate version, written by Republicans, did not. Among them were an amendment which would have ended U.S. military support for the war crimes the Saudis are committing in Yemen, and another which would have required Trump to get congressional authorization before entering into hostilities with Iran.

Bills cannot become law until the House and Senate versions are reconciled. The Democrats should have refused to make the changes the Republicans and Trump wanted. Those two amendments, and others the Democrats dropped, had broad public support.

The Democrats should have made a stand. But they are afraid of Republican criticism that they neglected the nation’s legislative business because they were too focused on impeachment to attend to it. And so, they caved.

Historians can compile a list of times when America made immoral decisions for the sake of political correctness. The cowardice of the congressional Democrats on this bill can be added to that record.

Three Bronx House members, and one of New York’s senators, had the courage to vote “no” on this measure: Eliot Engel, Adriano Espaillat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kirsten Gillibrand.

It is a shame more of their colleagues weren’t as brave as they were.

Gene Binder

Have an opinion? Share your thoughts as a letter to the editor. Make your submission to letters@riverdalepress.com. Please include your full name, phone number (for verification purposes only), and home address (which will not be published).
Gene Binder,