Tuesday, July 18, 2023

House Passes Annual Defense Bill Packed with Anti-Woke Military Measures; House Passes Defense Bill With Abortion, Transgender Provisions

NY POST: House passes annual defense bill packed with anti-woke military measures:
The House of Representatives approved $886 billion in defense spending for next fiscal year Friday — as well as conservative Republican-backed amendments that ban US military funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs, the teaching of critical race theory and so-called “green” energy initiatives.
The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act passed the House 219-210, with Democratic Reps. Don Davis of North Carolina, Jared Golden of Maine, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington and Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico joining 215 Republicans in voting for the measure.
Four Republicans — Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Eli Crane of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — opposed the spending bill.
Five lawmakers — Reps. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Brandon Williams (R-NY) — did not vote.
The vote represented another messaging win for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who demonstrated his skill in wrangling the narrow Republican majority to pass a bill that increases US military spending by $28 billion from fiscal year 2023 levels — including a 5.2% pay raise for service members.
“Under this bill, men and women in uniform who make sacrifices for our nation every day will receive the biggest pay raise in decades. We all know they deserve it,” McCarthy told reporters following the vote. “Radical programs that are forced on our troops at the expense of readiness are now eliminated. Cutting-edge technology that is essential for the future of this country, and to keep freedom around the world in the rise of China and Russia will receive more investment than we’ve watched in the past. And taxpayers will save more than $40 billion as this bill roots out wasteful spending.”
The Democrat-controlled Senate is deliberating its own version of the bill, which is expected to pass by the end of the month. The House and Senate bills must be reconciled before heading to President Biden’s desk for a signature. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/ZUMA Press
WSJ: House Passes Defense Bill With Abortion, Transgender Provisions:
Democrats drop support for NDAA after GOP added ‘culture war’ amendments
The Republican-controlled House narrowly passed a $886 billion defense-policy bill loaded with measures restricting abortion access, transgender healthcare and diversity efforts in the military, as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy kept his party largely united amid strong Democratic opposition.
The vote was 219-210, with just four Republicans and four Democrats crossing party lines. The Senate is working to pass its own version, and then lawmakers will work behind closed doors to come up with a compromise that must clear both chambers before heading to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2024 would authorize a 5.2% pay raise for troops and funding for new barracks, combat ships and drones, create a Space National Guard, and establish a new Special Inspector General for Ukraine Security Assistance to oversee audits of all U.S. aid provided to Ukraine.
It also would authorize $300 million in security assistance for Ukraine and $600 million more than the Biden administration had requested to respond to security threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
The vote marked a victory for the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, whose members hailed it as their latest success in shifting the House rightward. The passage also notched a win for McCarthy, who held his rowdy conference together by appeasing conservatives and striking side deals with individual lawmakers, an approach that will be tested again later this year when the NDAA is finalized.
Republican leaders said the adoption of the GOP amendments on polarizing issues, many of them championed by members of the Freedom Caucus, would keep the military focused on protecting the country rather than what they see as progressive social-policy distractions.
“We don’t want Disneyland training our military,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said of the social-policy amendments. Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn) said the GOP was delivering on its promise to cut out the “woke garbage” from the Biden administration.
Infuriated Democrats said Republicans had hitched their own divisive agenda to what is typically a bipartisan bill, and warned that Republicans in competitive districts could pay a price in the 2024 elections. Only a handful of Democrats sided with Republicans on the series of amendments ahead of the final vote.
“Extreme MAGA Republicans have hijacked a bipartisan bill that is essential to our national security…and weaponized it to jam their extreme right wing ideology down the throats of the American people,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.), proceeding to tick off names of Republicans in competitive districts who voted in favor of the contentious amendments. --->READ MORE HERE
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