Late-Hour Battle Brews in the House over Gutted NDAA
When Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) finally brought down the curtain on months of military holds, a lot of people thought the debate over taxpayer-funded abortion in the military was over. They were wrong.
“We witnessed a 10-month goal line stand by the defense,” Family Research Council’s Quena Gonzalez told The Washington Stand. “Now it’s time for the offense to take the field.”
The analogy is a fitting one for the longtime Auburn coach, who, by calling it quits on his one-man crusade, has effectively put the fight squarely in the hands of the Republican Party. There’s one way to fix this disgrace of a Biden policy, conservatives know, and it’s in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “This isn’t over,” Gonzalez warned, “until that’s passed.”
That will come as a relief to pro-lifers, who woke up to the news that the latest version of the bill has zero language banning the Pentagon’s illegal taxpayer-funded abortion policy. As congressmen like Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) know, the NDAA went into negotiations with that amendment — their amendment — and came back after the House and Senate conference without it.
“The exclusion [of that provision] sets up a test for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.),” Politico pointed out in the understatement of the month. As both sides are painfully aware, time is running out to pass an NDAA that both parties will unite behind before the Christmas recess. Now, without the provisions blocking woke priorities like taxpayer-funded abortion and transgender surgeries, getting House Republicans to rally behind a gutted version of the bill could make the speakership debate look like a piece of cake.
“Pro-life members,” Gonzalez insisted, “should not vote for an NDAA that includes taxpayer-funded abortion.” To most conservatives, the issue is a bright red line that Republicans cannot cross. It’s why Tuberville endured almost a full year of name-calling, backstabbing, slander, and character assassination by the media, Democrats, and ultimately, liberals in his own party. To most, it’s a matter of fundamental principle. “What’s next?” Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin asked on “Washington Watch.” “What law do we violate next with no penalty? We have to stand now. And that’s what Tuberville was doing — [he] was standing on something that he believed in. … And personally, I think he’s a hero.”
The time has come, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins argued, for every Republican to take that same stand. “This sets [the] precedent that we’re okay with taxpayers being entangled in the facilitation of abortion. And you and I,” he said to Boykin, “both military veterans, believe in our military, want to see our military fully funded, but we don’t want to see them used as mules for the social agenda of the Biden administration. … The issue’s not over,” he insisted.
Congressman Roy, who’s been one of the most outspoken pro-lifers in this debate, vowed to TWS and other conservative outlets, “I will not support an NDAA that doesn’t deliver on key conservative wins included in the House-passed version such as defunding Biden’s radical abortion tourism fund, removing divisive CRT policies and DEI offices, stopping transgender surgeries, or ending Biden’s radical climate change executive orders at the Pentagon.”
Furthermore, he went on, “I don’t see how any member of this body or on the other side of the Capitol could advance the yearly National Defense Authorization Act with an unsecured southern border or without addressing the rampant abuses to our civil liberties with an unreformed FISA extension.” It’s not our fault that this conference bill came back without the GOP’s priorities, he pointed out. “Republicans in the House did our job and passed one of the strongest NDAAs in decades putting a stop to Biden’s radical policies destroying the focus of the military. Half measures will get us nowhere. Republicans must deliver real results.”
In a powerful graphic showing all of the House priorities chucked overboard in conference, Roy argued, “The watered-down NDAA should NOT be passed by the House GOP. It was jammed through with no real conference, punts fixes on abortion, transgender[ism], and even drag shows…” He is — and urges every Republican including the speaker — to be a “hard no.”
If they need inspiration on holding the line, Tommy Tuberville wrote the book. Boykin, who talked to the Alabama senator Tuesday, admitted that he was “down” after releasing the holds. “But I think he needs to stop and realize that he just set an example for all those people on the Hill up there. Ultimately, it didn’t go his way,” the general said, referencing the fact that Senate leaders finally had the votes to change the rules and force Tuberville’s hand. “But sometimes you have to fight for principle.”
For now, that fight is in the House, and Perkins urged everyone to “contact your congressman and say, ‘Do not support the National Defense Authorization Act until it keeps me, as a taxpayer, from having to facilitate abortions and take innocent life.' Let them know that you’re not going to be a part of that.”
“We’re wasting our time with all of these nonsensical woke things,” Boykin agreed. “We’ve got to go back to the military’s purpose, and that is to defend this country by fighting its wars. Period. End of story.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.