House passes defense bill prohibiting sex changes for soldiers at taxpayer expense

President Joe Biden has not indicated whether he would veto the bill should it pass the Senate.

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The House of Representatives passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with provisions in the bill blocking taxpayer-funded sex change treatments for soldiers.  

The NDAA has been passed annually for over sixty decades and typically receives bipartisan support. However, this year, a number of other provisions by Republicans resulted in the bill being passed just 217-199, with only six Democrats voting in favor. 

Other policies, aside from the provisions blocking taxpayer-funded sex change treatments for military members, included drawing back funding from climate change initiatives in the military as well as well as blocking a Pentagon policy that reimburses miliary personnel to travel out of their state for abortions.  

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries criticized the inclusion of these policies by Republicans, stating, “The extreme MAGA Republicans are not interested in governing… they have hijacked the National Defense Authorization Act in order to jam their extreme right-wing ideology down the throats of the American people." 

“Instead, all they care about is bending the knee to Donald Trump,” Jeffries added when talking to reporters, according to Politico

Additionally, the bill includes measures to reduce the Pentagon's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and climate change efforts. 

The White House condemned the bill, with a spokesperson stating, “Once again House Republicans have chosen to put partisanship over the health and safety of our troops and our national security by including numerous poison pill amendments. This is an unserious effort [that] will never get to the president’s desk. We stand ready to work with Congress on an NDAA that meets the needs of our troops and our national security.” 

President Joe Biden has not indicated whether he would veto the bill should it pass the Senate. Many believe the bill will likely be revised in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but it showcases the type of legislation that could be enacted if Donald Trump wins the presidency and Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate in the upcoming election.

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