'An Important Package': House Republicans Pass Nearly-$900 Billion NDAA, With Some Amendments

In a mostly party line vote, House Republicans Friday passed their version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The nearly $900 billion measure includes standard support for the military, but also some nods to conservative cultural positions that most Democrats wouldn’t support.

Friday, June 14th 2024, 5:54 pm



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In a mostly party-line vote, House Republicans Friday passed their version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The nearly $900 billion measure includes standard support for the military, but also some nods to conservative cultural positions that most Democrats wouldn’t support.

The vote was 217-199 on legislation that many members feel is as critical as anything they take up the entire year.

"Making sure that our military has the tools and resources to be the most effective warfighters in the world," said Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5) in an interview Friday. "So, this is an important package."

The NDAA sets Pentagon policy and funding levels for the coming year -- $895 billion, a one percent increase over FY 2024 funding.

A bipartisan focus of this NDAA, Bice says, is making needed quality-of-life improvements.

"So, there’s a pay raise for enlisted, there are investments in base housing and childcare," Bice explained. "These are things that are important to our military service members."

The bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee with near unanimous support, but in floor debate Thursday, conservative Republicans were able to add amendments to roll back diversity protections and restrict service members and their families from accessing abortion and transgender health care.

"And so they have hijacked the National Defense Authorization Act," House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told reporters Friday morning, "in order to jam their extreme right-wing ideology down the throats of the American people."

But Congressman Josh Brecheen, who successfully added an amendment banning Department of Defense-sponsored drag shows, says getting what he calls 'woke, far-Left policies' out of the military is critical for our national security.

"I often think," Brecheen (R-OK2) noted in an interview Thursday, "what would Eisenhower and MacArthur say? They would say, 'Why don’t you be fixated on preparation for real battle, real war, not cultural wars.'"

If history is a predictor, these culture war items are very unlikely to survive the eventual reconciliation of the House bill with the version of the NDAA brewing in the Senate, where Democrats are in charge, and legislation is generally bipartisan.

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