House Passes National Defense Authorization Act

July 20, 2023

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), amidst heated debate and several controversial amendments addressing contentious social issues. The bill authorized funding for the Department of Defense

The version of the NDAA passed by the House allocates $886 billion for national defense programs and includes a 5.2% pay increase for servicemembers. The bill’s proponents say it counters China’s influence, enhancing military readiness and missile defense capabilities, and promoting technological innovation.

House approval of the bill was far from a smooth process due to the addition of amendments on abortion policy, transgender health care access, diversity and inclusion programs, and the purchase of certain books in military libraries.

The bill’s passage was a mostly party-line vote, with only four Democrats voting with Republicans and four GOP members voting against the bill.

The NDAA has now moved to the Senate, where it is expected to face further challenges and undergo potential revisions. The Senate’s version of the bill will need to be reconciled with the House’s version before it can become law.

The passage of the defense bill with controversial amendments highlights the ongoing political battles between different factions within Congress and their impact on even “must pass” legislation.

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