NewsHouse Republicans Pass Defense Bill As Democrats Reject It

House Republicans Pass Defense Bill As Democrats Reject It

Republicans narrowly passed a significantly partisan defense bill Friday, setting up a Senate fight that could impact a pay raise for troops and much more.

The top three Democrats in the House, Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), announced early Friday morning they would vote no on the bill, and party members followed suit.

The vote is considered a win for Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who allowed far-right Republicans to add a litany of conservative amendments attacking abortion access, diversity measurements, and medical care for transgender troops.
The bill is all but guaranteed to fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate and puts in doubt whether a compromise can be reached on the $886 million bill that would give military personnel a 5.2% raise and as a program to counter moves being made by China and Russia. The bill would also establish a special inspector to supervise U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Democrats have slammed the bill, calling out Republicans for turning a bipartisan measure into a one-sided affair to appease their far-right members, adding that the measure would push women, minorities, and transgender Americans against enlisting.

“Whether you’re talking about women, whether you’re talking about trans people, whether you’re talking about people of color — this bill says that we’re going to make it more difficult for you to get a fair shake in the military,” Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, said on the floor on Friday according to the Times. “We are opposed to this bill because it is our firm belief that it will undermine our ability to meet the national security objectives of this country.”
However, adding conservative policies to the bill could lead members of the House Freedom Caucus, who rarely vote on the defense spending bill, to support it.

“They have no reason not to vote for this,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said, according to Politico. “It tackles a lot of the woke issues that have been pushed by the administration on our military in a strong way … and it supports our military to keep America safe.”
“So there’s no reason for any Republicans to vote against it.”

Source: Black Enterprise

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