The U.S. House of Representatives passed its annual defense bill in a close vote last Friday. Contained within the bill are numerous pro-life, pro-family measures that conservatives can celebrate.
The House passed the defense bill (H.R.2670), also called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (NDAA), in a close vote of 219-210 on July 14.
The bill provides fiscal appropriations for FY24, authorizing $886.3 billion for national defense, an increase of $28 billion from FY23.
H.R. 2670 also contains numerous pro-family measures, including:
- The Jackson-Roy Amendment which prohibits the Pentagon from using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion travel costs for servicemembers and their dependents.
- A provision prohibiting the Department of Defense from promoting critical theory at military service academies, and in servicemember training.
- A stipulation eliminating the Chief Diversity Officer of the Department of Defense.
- A provision protecting servicemembers rights to direct their children’s education.
- A prohibition on funds being used for drag shows and drag queen story hours.
The NDAA now goes to the Senate, which is expected to face its first procedural vote on Tuesday evening. The bill requires 60 votes to overcome the filibuster.
Politico reports that Senate leaders hope to pass its own version of the bill before leaving for the August recess. They will likely remove these important pro-family policies. After the Senate votes on its own version of the NDAA, it will be up to congressional negotiators to come up with a bipartisan compromise for the bill that both houses of Congress can pass before the end of the year, and the president can sign.
SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser issued a statement specifically in response to the passing of the Jackson-Roy Amendment, and its inclusion in the House’s version of the NDAA.
“The House took a powerful step toward reining in [the Pentagon’s] illegal policy of taxpayer-funded abortion travel at the Department of Defense,” Dannenfelser said.
Representatives Jackson and Roy have courageously led the charge to force the administration to follow the four decades old law against taxpayer funding for abortion at the DOD. Now the House must send the Jackson-Roy amendment in the NDAA to the Senate, and then on to the president’s desk.
We also applaud Speaker McCarthy, Leader Scalise, Chairman Rogers and Subcommittee Chairman Banks for their work to curtail this administration’s funding for brutal, painful abortions.
Conservatives and Christians can certainly applaud the pro-family policies of the NDAA. However, we must also realize that, as the saying goes, “It’s not over ‘till it’s over.”
It remains to be seen how many of these pro-family protections will be included in the final version of the FY24 NDAA. And that information will probably not be known for the next several months.
Last year, for months, it appeared as if the FY23 NDAA was going to contain many problematic provisions, including one that would have required women register for the military draft.
However, that provision was removed at the last minute to gain enough votes for the bill to pass through Congress.
The Daily Citizen will keep you updated on important developments on the FY24 NDAA.
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