There’s no such thing as a drama-free December in D.C. — even without a government shutdown on the holiday horizon. Before Congress calls it quits on 2023, there are plenty of things for the parties to squabble over, including the mammoth National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In a city where consensus is rarer than a Santa sighting, the troop bill is probably the only area of consistent compromise. In fact, the military’s budget passes so reliably that it hasn’t missed a year since West Side Story was in theaters and gas cost $.27 a gallon. But that six-decade streak is on the line right now, and there’s no one to blame but radical Democrats.
As most people in D.C. have learned, getting the military funded is usually a battle in itself. “I’m optimistic we will find a reasonable compromise that both chambers can support,” House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) told reporters this week. It was a sanguine view for a debate mired in everything from abortion politics to cryptocurrency fights.
As onlookers know, the House and Senate each passed versions of the NDAA earlier in the year — the trouble now is finding language that the two chambers, both led by different parties, will support. For the last several weeks, one of the most significant snags centers around a 2022 decision by President Joe Biden to put taxpayers on the hook for military abortions, a policy that Republicans (rightly) fume is illegal without Congress’s approval. It’s that same White House decision that sparked Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R) move to put a hold on high-ranking military promotions. He’d hoped his stand, now nine months strong, would force Democrats to the negotiating table.
Instead, the White House has preferred to battle it out in the press, absurdly blaming Tuberville for everything from the military’s recruitment woes to readiness issues. Realizing the Left has no interest in actually solving the problem, conservatives are turning to the NDAA in the hopes that they can not only break the logjam on military promotions but also stop the Biden administration from crossing a bright red statutory line.
Fortunately, there’s language in the House bill that rolls back Biden’s taxpayer-funded abortion con. But as both sides of the Capitol hammer out the final text, the big question is whether Republicans will have the stomach to hold the line on what Family Research Council President Tony Perkins calls “a very, very significant issue….”
From the Washington Stand