One of the most important duties of Congress outlined in the U.S. Constitution is to provide for the common defense. It is a promise to American citizens that we will protect them and defend American interests across the globe. Each year, we keep that promise by passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides those who defend our Constitution with the tools they require to succeed.

For the last 58 years, the NDAA has been a bipartisan bill where both sides have come together to put America first. Unfortunately, Pelosi Democrats have packed the bill with partisan provisions this year that undermine our national security and undercut our military's ability to keep us safe. Here are just a few examples:

• Cuts personnel accounts by $1.2 billion

• Ties the Trump Administration's hands against Iran

• Paves the path to transferring terrorists to U.S. soil by trying to close Guantanamo Bay

• Bans construction projects on the Southern border

• Cuts programs critical to deterring Russia and China

I voted no on the NDAA for the first time during my tenue in Congress when it was brought to the House Floor. It is shameful that Pelosi Democrats chose to put politics before our troops. Our military and our nation deserves better.

Congress must honor our responsibility to provide the men and women in uniform the resources they need to be successful and the benefits they deserve for securing our freedoms and safeguarding our well-being. Our military represents our nation’s strength across the globe and we cannot let politics get in the way of that. In an increasingly dangerous world, we must be ready to meet any challenge and defeat any adversary. Now, more than ever, we should be investing in our men and women in uniform and striving to achieve peace through strength.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701