GOP Struggles To Agree On Terms of Defense Bill

( – Republicans in the House of Representatives are struggling to pass a defense bill due to internal party disagreements about whether to dismantle some of the Pentagon’s social policies.

The bill, titled the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), had more than 1,500 amendments proposed, it being a key piece of legislation that governs the priorities of the Pentagon. Many amendments offered by GOP House members have stoked serious controversy, with many proposing to end Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the military.

On Tuesday, July 11, House Republican leaders decided to shelve those more controversial amendments for the time being as they continue to work out which amendments should be included in the bill. The internal tension between Republican House members has also stoked worries that the bill might not pass at all.

Representative Don Bacon, R-Neb., said that some House members have pledged to “vote no if they don’t get their pet amendment put in,” saying further that if every House member did that, no bill would be possible in the first place. He also referred to the House as “435 prima donnas” who have to work together to serve the best interests of the American public.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz, a House Freedom Caucus member, fired back and said that the anti-DEI amendments are necessary because the Pentagon is pushing them, and that they are “germane” to the NDAA.

The bill nevertheless hit an important milestone when Republican House members voted to advance it to the House floor without the anti-DEI amendments included. Biggs told Fox News that Republicans are now pushing for a separate slew of amendments to the bill aimed at taking away healthcare coverage for transgender individuals in the military, as well as the Pentagon’s current abortion travel policy.

Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, objected to the amendment intended to scrap the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy, saying that Republicans are potentially “messing” with women who are traveling out of state to have an abortion procedure, who are currently being reimbursed for their travel costs and allows them some time to recover before returning to work.

The Biden administration slammed the Republican House majority, insisting that DEI programs give the U.S. a “strategic advantage.”

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