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September 20, 2021

Pressley Offers NDAA Amendments to End Militarization of Police and Boost Global COVID Vaccinations

Amendment on 1033 Program | Amendment on Global Vaccines

WASHINGTON –Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) introduced two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that seek to end the militarization of civilian law enforcement and boost COVID-19 vaccinations globally as a matter of public health and national security.

“In the midst of these overlapping crises of coronavirus, economic hardship and police violence, Congress must take every opportunity to advance necessary changes that protect the most vulnerable communities both at home and abroad,” said Rep. Pressley. “These amendments would help us save lives by ending the militarization of local police departments and treating global vaccine inequity as the national security threat that it is. I’ll continue fighting for legislation that matches the scale and scope of the hurt so many are feeling.”

Rep. Pressley’s first amendment would halt the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which allows for the transfer of military equipment to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement. This amendment would help protect Black and Latinx communities, who are disproportionately impacted by the militarization of police.

Rep. Pressley’s second amendment calls for President Biden to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to ramp up vaccine production and deployment globally. In light of stark global vaccine inequities, this amendment would save millions of lives by increasing vaccination levels abroad and protecting the US from the risk of emerging viral threats.

Two years ago, Congresswoman Pressley introduced the People’s Justice Guarantee, a radical reimagining of the American criminal legal system, which calls for an end to the 1033 program. Additionally, Rep. Pressley cosponsored a series of amendments related to the 1033 program, including Rep. Velasquez’s amendment to eliminate the program and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s amendment to add to the prohibited list of military equipment.

Congresswoman Pressley’s amendment halting the 1033 program is endorsed by: American Civil Liberties Union; About Face: Veterans Against the War, Advocacy for Principled Action in Government, African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs – ABISA, Alianza Americas, American Friends Service Committee, American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA), American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Amnesty International USA, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Bridges Faith Initiative, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Disability Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, Coalition on Human Needs, Common Defense, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd – U.S. Provinces, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Defending Rights & Dissent, Drug Policy Alliance, Due Process Institute, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), Farmworker Association of Florida, Freedom Network USA, Government Information Watch, Greenpeace USA, Hispanic Federation, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights First, ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA CSJ), Japanese American Citizens League, Jetpac Resource Center, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Justice Democrats, Justice Is Global, Labor Against Racism and War, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention, Massachusetts Peace Action, Muslim Justice League, NAACP LDF, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Education Association, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG), National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Oakland Privacy, Open Society Policy Center, Our Revolution, Oxfam America, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, People’s Action, Poligon Education Fund,, Progressive Democrats of America, Project Blueprint, Project On Government Oversight, R Street Institute, Restore The Fourth, Rethinking Foreign Policy,, Secure Families Initiative, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, The Advocates for Human Rights, The Black Police Experience, The Quincy Institute, The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society, Tunisian United Network, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Veterans for American Ideals, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, WESPAC Foundation, Win Without War, Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center, Women for Weapons Trade Transparency, Women Watch Afrika, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), Working Families Party, World BEYOND War.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Congresswoman Pressley has led efforts in Congress to stop the spread of COVID-19 and require more robust data collection and reporting on the virus. She has:

  • In August, Rep. Pressley released a statement on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s school mask mandate urging to reinstate the mandate, and wrote to Governor Baker calling on him to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in public schools and congregate settings across the Commonwealth, including by implementing a statewide school mask mandate.
  • Introduced, the Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act, legislation to require the CDC and other HHS sub-agencies to collect and release racial and other demographic data on COVID-19, along with Congresswomen Robin Kelly (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
  • In April 2020, Rep. Pressley urged Governor Baker to rescind the Commonwealth’s proposed Crisis of Care Standards that would have disproportionately harmed Black and Brown communities and the disability community.
  • In March 202, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging HHS and the CDC to collect and publicly release racial and demographic data on COVID-19 in order to identify and address racial disparities in the response.
  • Introduced, along with Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Barbara Lee (CA-13), the landmark Dismantle Mass Incarceration for Public Health Act, which would require the release of eligible individuals who are currently incarcerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and for one year after.
  • Led her colleagues in demanding information on what steps the BOP is taking to prepare for and prevent the spread of the COVID-19; Along with Senator Warren, called on President Trump to adopt guidelines for decarceration amid the COVID-19 pandemic; Called on the U.S. Department of Justice and BOP to grant compassionate release for individuals held at federal detainment facilities; Called on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and other governors to decarcerate amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths in state correctional facilities.

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