Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Poison Pill II

I can see it coming when the Senate tosses out the House’s defense spending bill! The Democrats are anti-military! I can just imagine the headlines that the Republicans messages will tout how the Democrats vetoed the defense bill.
Defense Bill Comes With Culture War Fallout
Senate Version Includes $33 Billion For Connecticut Defense Contracts
CT News Junkie
By Hudson Kamphausen
June 17, 2024

The National Defense Authorization Act – one of the year’s most important and wide-reaching bills – was passed by the US House last week, but not without considerable pushback from Democrats because of several last-minute amendments.

Another similar bill – which will have to go through the Senate – got out of committee Friday.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which is one of the only bills consistently passed by Congress each year – is an almost $900 billion endeavor that is needed to fund the nation’s expansive military each fiscal year.

The bill is typically passed with good bipartisan support, which was not the case this year because of some divisive amendments that will limit certain forms of healthcare available to members of the military.
The Republicans added a bitter poison pill that they knew the Democrats could not swallow, they loaded it up with…
Before the bill was voted on in the House – where it eventually passed 217-199 – Speaker Mike Johnson allowed Republicans in the chamber to add several controversial amendments that would, according to Politico:
  •     Block the Pentagon from reimbursing troops who travel to seek abortions or other reproductive health care;
  •     Block funding to cover gender-affirming care for transgender service members, and;
  •     Severely cut Pentagon diversity, equity, and inclusion programs (DEI) and climate change efforts.
Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, said in a statement that Republicans in the House had politicized a bill that previously had bipartisan support.
They weaponized the weapons bill! Rep. Larson went on to say,
“Because of [Republican] amendments, this bill is no longer focused on our national security and supporting our servicemembers and is instead another culture war effort that will harm our troops and their families, especially those who are women, people of color, or LGBTQ+,” Larson said.

He continued: “It’s time for House Republicans to put aside the partisan games and put forth a clean NDAA and join us in working hand-in-hand with the Senate and President Biden to deliver for our service members, support our machinists, strengthen our national security, and reaffirm our relationships with our allies.”
The Republicans don’t care about the country, they are narcissistic just like their cult leader Trump. The only thing that they care about is POWER! They added this to get the vote from their evangelical base… “See we wanted to ban abortions and gays and trans people in the military but those evil unChristian blocked us!” You watch… that will be their massage to the followers.
The bill originally came out of committee with bipartisan support.
But the Republicans killed that with their poison pill.

Back in December everything was nice and rosy with a bipartisan bill,
The Defense Department policy of covering travel and leave for service members seeking abortions will remain intact under a compromise version of the annual must-pass defense policy bill released Wednesday night.

Existing health care for transgender troops and dependents was also left untouched by the negotiated National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that members of the House and Senate unveiled after months of hearings and negotiations.

Both have been political hot-button issues that now appear unlikely to change due to the omissions in one of the year's most important defense bills. While issues Democrats considered red lines that would force them to vote against the bill were dropped from the compromise legislation, conservatives notched some modest wins on provisions to curtail diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Negotiations over this year's NDAA turned into a culture-war minefield after the House loaded its version of the defense bill with a slew of proposals targeting what Republicans deride as "wokeness" in the military.


Neither the abortion measure nor transgender health-care restrictions are in the compromise bill.

Also not in the final bill is a ban on drag shows on military bases. The Defense Department earlier this year announced it was banning drag shows, something the NDAA negotiators noted in their report explaining the compromise agreement.

The bill does include a ban on displaying "unapproved" flags, a provision intended to target LGBTQ+ pride flags. But Defense Department policy already prohibits flying unofficial flags, a policy that was put in place in 2020 to rid military bases of the Confederate flag but that also applies to pride flags.

The bill also curbs diversity initiatives in several ways. While the compromise does not go as far as the House-passed bill in entirely eliminating diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, programs, it would freeze any new DEI jobs until the Government Accountability Office delivers a report on the DEI workforce. The bill would also cap pay for civilian DEI employees.
Notice the the original compromise included things that the Republicans wanted and things that the Democrats didn't want... it was a "compromise" but that wasn't enough for the Republicans they wanted the the whole enchilada.
In other-words… The Republicans want a racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic military just like it was back in the 50s before President Eisenhower ended segregation in the military.

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