US House Approves Defense Bill With Controversial Add-Ons, Includes Pay Raise for Service Members

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 07/14/2023
The US House of Representatives on Friday approved a massive annual defense bill that departs from traditional military policy by including political add-ons from Republicans to block abortion coverage, diversity initiatives at the Pentagon, and transgender issues that have caused significant division in the chamber. The bill gives service members an expected 5.2% pay raise. 

Democrats abstained from the measure, which had passed the House Armed Services Committee with nearly unanimous support only a few weeks earlier but was being loaded down with Republican priorities during a contentious late-night floor discussion before Friday's session. According to the AP, the final vote was 219-210 with four Democrats voting with the GOP and four Republicans against. In the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority, the bill is anticipated to fail.


The defense bill, which follows President Biden's budget request, authorizes $874.2 billion for defense spending in the upcoming year. The actual distribution of funds will take place later, when Congress handles the appropriation bills, as is customary. Republicans added provisions to stop the Defense Department's diversity initiatives and limit access to abortions after attempts to stop US funding for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia failed. 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who is single-handedly delaying Senate confirmation of military officers, including the new commandant of the Marine Corps, has championed the abortion issue. Additional steps to reverse the Pentagon's diversity and inclusion policies and obstruct some transgender medical care

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Wayne Dupree, Privacy Policy