“House Republicans narrowly passed their version of an annual defense bill 219–210, after stacking it with controversial amendments on social issues that are dead on arrival in the Senate.
The debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, or the NDAA for short, now heads to the Democrat-controlled upper chamber, which is set to consider its own take on the bill later this month. Eventually, the two chambers will work to reconcile their differences between the two in the hope of finding a compromise.
The NDAA, one of Congress’s must-pass bills, effectively lays out what the military’s budget could look like for the next year and which programs will be funded. This year’s House bill authorizes $886 billion in funding, including a 5.2 percent pay raise for service members and the appointment of an inspector general to oversee Ukraine funding.
Much like the debt ceiling legislation and annual spending bills, the NDAA is a prime opportunity for lawmakers to add unrelated amendments making policy changes to pet issues, since it has to pass every year. This week, Republicans capitalized on this opportunity to put forth controversial amendments favored by their right flank, including restrictions on abortion and LGBTQ rights. It’s a move that’s meant to send a message about their position on social issues, and it’s also one that makes what was a bipartisan bill much more contentious.”