July 13th, 2023

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are in session this week after a two week Fourth of July recess. The House is processing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Senate is working through nominations. The House and Senate are scheduled to be in through the end of July.

The House Rules Committee, earlier this week, discharged the first rule governing debate for the NDAA. The annual defense bill attracted over 1,500 amendments. Some conservatives are concerned that the House is missing the single best opportunity this year to remove the social engineering movement that has taken over the Department of Defense. One of the major issues facing the NDAA, is the issue of the Department of Defense standing up a program to provide money for women in the military to travel to states to get an abortion. Famously, Sen. Tommy Tuberville from Alabama is courageously leading the fight to end this program. In particular, Ben Domenech points out that an Army Lt. was on the hill pushing for Senators to “help us overcome” Sen. Tuberville’s position on making sure the DOD focuses on winning wars and not providing abortions.

Former Navy Seal and rising start in the conservative movement, Rep. Eli Crane, weighed in by saying, “The Department of Defense under POTUS is disgustingly subsidizing travel for service members to receive abortions. The U.S. military has a duty to protect Americans, not facilitate their deaths.” Conservative congressman Rep. Chip Roy raised the question about the legislation directly, “This week in Congress, we are supposed to be taking up the “National Defense Authorization Act.” The question before all of us…do you feel that your nation is being “Defended” as it should be? And if you do not think so, will this legislation fix it? #NDAA.”

One way that conservatives are trying to fix issues in the NDAA, is by offering amendments to improve the legislation. Amendments to prohibit funding for Ukraine, repeal the outdated 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force for Iraq, prohibiting TRICARE from covering and the Department of Defense from furnishing sex reassignment surgeries, prohibit the use of federal funds used to operate the commission on renaming military bases, and to make clear that on military installations, service members can only use bathroom facilities that are the same as your biological sex to name a few. The rule making these amendments in order to debate and vote on was issued early Thursday morning, but some Representatives are not happy. They’re suggesting that these votes will further divide the conference, while others are saying that these votes are what their constituents sent them to Washington to vote on and are the only real way the American people know where they stand on such issues.

There is some discussion on whether or not the NDAA will pass by its intended deadline given the number of outstanding issues left to resolve. If it does pass the House, it will head to the Senate where they are preparing their version of the bill. Conservative Senators are currently working to line up their amendments to ensure votes on the key issues, just as conservatives in the House have.

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