House GOP Set to Vote on Defense Bill Culture War Amendments

House Republicans are gearing up to vote on amendments to the annual defense bill that could cause a split along party lines. These amendments cover a range of culture war issues that are important to conservatives.

One of the amendments, proposed by Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Texas, aims to repeal a Pentagon policy that allows service members to receive paid leave and travel reimbursement for abortions. Another amendment, from Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana, seeks to ban military health plans from covering hormone treatments and sex reassignment surgeries for transgender individuals.
The House Rules Committee has scheduled votes on a total of 350 amendments, chosen from over 1,300 filed. These amendments cover various topics, including banning drag shows, gender ideology, and critical race theory.

The defense bill, which authorizes $895 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2025 and includes measures to improve the lives of service members, has already received bipartisan support in the House Armed Services Committee. However, with the introduction of these culture war amendments, the final vote is expected to be more divided along party lines.

Democrats have expressed concerns about the number of amendments being considered and have accused Republicans of pushing a “right-wing messaging exercise.” However, Republicans argue that advancing their agenda is important and ensuring that their ideas are included in the bill.

In addition to the culture war amendments, amendments also target diversity, equity, and inclusion positions within the Defense Department. Some of these amendments aim to address traditional military issues, such as those related to China and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The House’s consideration of the defense bill is reminiscent of the previous year, where partisan amendments led to a divided vote. It will be important to watch for any members who cross party lines to support the bill.

Written by Staff Reports

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