Home News Defense Bill’s Fate Teeters After G.O.P. Wedges In Social Issues

Defense Bill’s Fate Teeters After G.O.P. Wedges In Social Issues

Defense Bill’s Fate Teeters After G.O.P. Wedges In Social Issues

Nearly all Republicans voted for a measure to restrict funding to allow service members to travel to obtain abortions, which the House adopted 221 to 213, and for another denying transgender troops coverage for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy, which passed 222 to 211. A measure by Representative Ralph Norman, Republican of South Carolina, that would eliminate all of the Pentagon’s diversity offices and employees, eked through by a narrower margin, 214 to 213.

The House defeated a broader measure by Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, that would have prohibited the Pentagon from spending any money on diversity training whatsoever. That measure failed on a vote of 210 to 221.

The votes came amid a heated floor debate in which Republicans and Democrats feuded over issues of race, sex and gender. Representative Eli Crane, Republican of Arizona, at one point made a reference to “colored people” while defending his amendment to keep diversity training from becoming a condition for obtaining or keeping Defense Department jobs. Representative Joyce Beatty of Ohio, a Democrat who is Black, demanded that his comments be stricken from the record, and Mr. Crane later said in a statement that he “misspoke.”

Later in the evening, Representative Jill Tokuda, Democrat of Hawaii, admonished her G.O.P. colleagues for the tenor of the debate.

“From the backwards, racially insensitive comments spoken on this floor, it seems D.E.I. training would be good right here in the halls of Congress,” she said.

The one point of bipartisan consensus on Thursday, it seemed, was widespread opposition to Republican efforts to reduce or eliminate military assistance and weapons shipments for Ukraine.

On a vote of 276 to 147, the House rejected a proposal to ban the Biden administration from sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, with two lawmakers voting present. The Biden administration announced last week that it would be sending the weapons to Kyiv, despite bipartisan concerns that the weapons posed too great a danger to civilians.

The amendment was offered by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, who also failed in her effort to strip a $300 million program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers that has been part of the defense bill for almost a decade. The House rejected that effort by a vote of 341 to 89, alongside a similar proposal by Mr. Gaetz to prohibit Congress from appropriating any more money for Ukraine’s war effort, which was defeated 358 to 70.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here