House just passed a controversial defense policy bill that limits access to abortion and transgender health care for military personnel. Here’s how the Colorado delegates voted.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the annual defense policy bill on Friday, 219 to 210. The Colorado delegation like the House as a whole split largely, but not quite, along the lines of the party after Republicans added several controversial amendments to the culture war.

The bill would authorize an $866 billion defense bill that includes a 5.2 percent wage increase for military service members.

Of the Republican Representatives in the Colorado House delegation, Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn voted in favor of the bill. GOP Representative Ken Buck voted against, as did Democratic Representatives Yadira Caraveo, Jason Crow, Yadira Caraveo, Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse and Brittany Pettersen.

Historically, this bill has usually passed with strong bipartisan support, but many Democrats opposed it after several snap amendments were added. Those measures range from blocking the Department of Defense’s current abortion policy and climate issues, to targeting military diversity programs and preventing transgender healthcare coverage.

Crow, an Army veteran, spoke out against the bill Thursday night after it passed an amendment to limit access to abortion. After Roe’s downfall, the Defense Department said it would provide time off and pay for travel if service members or their families need to leave the state in which they are stationed for abortion or other treatment. for reproductive health.

Republicans have chosen to put their culture wars ahead of our national security and our troops, said Crow, who had worked to make this bill bipartisan. I have learned in my service to our country that you cannot separate our national values ​​from our national security. They go hand in hand. And this bill actually attacks our military service members and their families by undermining critical access to health care, abortion service, [and] attacking transgender families.

Before the bill’s final passage, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus and some of their allies praised amendments that moved the National Defense Authorization Act further to the right.

News Caitlyn Kim/CPR
Representative Lauren Boebert and other far-right Congressmen praised the inclusion of several cultural-issue amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. She described the bill as “the most conservative NDAA I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing with.” work”.

We’re here to let the American people know that we’re just getting started, said Lauren Boebert, a representative for Western Slope.

We have dealt a major blow to the Biden regime’s efforts to politicize our military by defunding its policy of using Department of Defense funds to relocate service members out of red states so they can receive taxpayer-funded abortions. he has declared. When we use the leverage the American people have given us, we can deliver on the conservative promises we all came upon here.

Boebert managed to add an amendment to ban Defense Department schools from purchasing and having in their libraries pornographic and radical gender ideology books. He largely moved along party lines with two Democrats, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Rep. Donald Davis of North Carolina voting for it.

Conservative GOP Representative Buck said he supports national defense and agrees with several amendments added to the bill, but he voted against the final package for one simple reason: spending.

Our county is heading towards fiscal ruin, and Congress continues to turn a blind eye to passing these massive spending packages without any concern for their cost or effectiveness, he said in a statement.

Pettersen was disappointed that the bill, which came out of committee with strong bipartisan support, had taken a partisan turn. While I support raising pay for our troops while supporting our military, this, unfortunately, is not a bill that should pass the House.

The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to begin the approval process for its version of the defense policy bill next week. The two chambers will then have to settle their differences or risk not approving a bill that has been approved every year for more than six decades.

I will work closely with the Senate to resolve this issue. We need a national defense bill, Crow said. And it is clear that the Senate will have to fix this because of what House Republicans have decided to do.

Overall, Rep. Doug Lamborn, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, believed the bill made good progress on key defense issues like hypersonics. I like the bill as it stands now, but I think the Senate will have a say in the final product, he warned.

Colorado Congressmen Amendments

While the cultural amendments got most of the press, Colorado congressmen got several non-controversial amendments included in the bill.

Boebert and Lamborn obtained language endorsing the closure of the Pueblo Chemical Depot including via amendment. Colorado senators did the same for their house’s version of the bill, which bodes well for the policy making it to the final bill.

He also got an additional amendment that would get a report on institutions of higher learning that got DOD funding and hosted a People’s Republic of China-funded Confucius Institute.

Crow and Neguse included an amendment that would prompt the Pentagon to develop a strategy to address gaps in medical research and development resulting from traumatic injuries across the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) spectrum.

Neguse and Buck both included several amendments. Negus ranged from housing to helping service members transition into civilian life. Money included from tracking parts for F-35 aircraft and managing AI entities through the Pentagon.

Lamborn, who chairs the Strategic Forces subcommittee, won an amendment on the Pentagon’s strategy for precision strike missile manufacturing capability and manufacturing included.

Caraveo inserted two amendments. One would help service members leaving the military learn about careers in agriculture. Another would require a Pentagon report on the transition process for service members with healthcare experience and how many join the Medical Reserve.

Pettersen also saw two of the amendments that led to the House version. One would require guidelines on how family members can receive a service member’s belongings if they were originally disposed of incorrectly. The other, supported by Colorado Reps. Crow, Lamborn and Neguse, focuses on improving medical support during Arctic operations.

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