(The Daily Signal) – The Heritage Foundation’s grassroots advocacy arm called Thursday for congressional lawmakers to reject the proposed National Defense Authorization Act, which includes funding for abortion and sex changes as well as to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the military.
“Americans agree that maintaining a strong national defense involves having a mission-driven military that prioritizes restoring strength at home and ensuring peace abroad,” Ryan Walker, executive vice president of Heritage Action for America, said in a formal statement. (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)
“Instead, the Biden administration continues to weaken the integrity of our military by prioritizing abortion services, promoting CRT and DEI initiatives, and enabling sex reassignment surgeries within U.S. armed forces,” Walker said, using the acronyms for critical race theory and so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
The National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2024, “offers an opportunity to fight back, but this final version missed the mark,” he said.
Heritage Action labeled the revised NDAA as a key vote for lawmakers.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who had blocked hundreds of military promotions for 10 months to challenge a Pentagon policy promoting abortion, said Tuesday that he would free up most of the promotions for Senate votes.
Earlier this year, the Republican-led House passed a version of the NDAA that included provisions prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion or sex-reassignment surgeries and procedures for service members and their dependents.
However, this week, the House and Senate conference version of the NDAA eliminated those provisions. The bill also continues to include promotion of critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the military.
The conference report also scrapped provisions to sanction fentanyl traffickers and protect U.S. agricultural land from China. It did away with Senate-passed language to stop U.S. pension funds from investing in China.
“In addition to enabling Biden’s politicization of the military, this agreement willfully rejects efforts to deter the growing influence of Chinese military capabilities,” Walker said. “Lawmakers who inexplicably opposed efforts to combat the Chinese Communist Party—despite their frequent campaign promises—missed a meaningful opportunity to scrutinize problematic investments into China.”
The House-Senate conference version includes a short-term extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, but without reforms proposed by many Republican lawmakers after its abuse in recent years by the FBI and the Justice Department.
“The Biden administration’s radical social policies at nearly every federal agency cannot stand,” Walker said, adding:
“Public confidence in the U.S. military is at one of its lowest levels ever, as demonstrated by a persistent and historic recruitment crisis during a period of increased politicization at the Pentagon. The American people deserve a strong response from our elected leaders when foreign aggressors threaten our interests, but the FY24 NDAA conference report falls short of fulfilling this responsibility.”