DOD Woke Agenda

NDAA 2024 Defense Bill Results

From trying to put a positive spin on things to the negative, read the articles:


Defense bill scores big wins for GOP on drag shows, DEI and COVID vaccines, internal House memo says (Fox News, 7 DEC 23)

The House Armed Services Committee is circulating a memo to fellow lawmakers stressing the conservative wins in this year’s annual defense policy bill in a bid to unite Republicans around the bipartisan legislation.

The 3,000-page text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was released late on Wednesday night, a product of lengthy negotiations between the GOP-controlled House and Democrat-held Senate.

A 17-page document of suggested talking points, obtained by Fox News Digital, was sent around to House Republicans on Thursday morning before an expected chamber-wide vote next week.

The compromise bill includes several key victories for the GOP on issues like COVID-19 vaccines and “woke ideology,” among other topics, according to the memo.

“The FY24 NDAA pushes back against the radical woke ideology being forced on our servicemen and women and restores the focus of our military on lethality,” the memo told members.

It encouraged lawmakers to emphasize the fact that the NDAA would stop funding from being used to teach Critical Race Theory in the military, as well as in service academies and Pentagon-run schools, and it would similarly prevent any funds from being used to hold drag shows or drag story hours.

This year’s NDAA would also freeze hiring for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) roles at the Pentagon until a watchdog investigation into the Department of Defense’s DEI practices is completed.

The memo also encourages Republicans to point out that the NDAA would not include any of the Biden administration’s climate policy goals.

On the COVID-19 vaccine, the NDAA would force the Pentagon to review its discharge policies for troops forced out for not taking the shot.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would have to ensure that service members who have been discharged for refusing it are fully aware of how to return to active duty, if they so choose, according to the memo.

Troops discharged for not taking the vaccine would also be entitled to full retirement benefits, the memo said.

“The FY24 NDAA protects current servicemembers and provides a path back to service for the 8,000 servicemembers discharged for failing to take the COVID-19 vaccine,” the memo said. . . . (read more on Fox News)



Pentagon Abortion, Transgender Policies Safe, But Diversity Programs Take a Hit in Compromise Defense Bill (Military.com, 7 DEC 23)

The Defense Department policy of covering travel and leave for service members seeking abortions will remain intact under a compromise version of the annual must-pass defense policy bill released Wednesday night.

Existing health care for transgender troops and dependents was also left untouched by the negotiated National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that members of the House and Senate unveiled after months of hearings and negotiations.

Both have been political hot-button issues that now appear unlikely to change due to the omissions in one of the year’s most important defense bills.

While issues Democrats considered red lines that would force them to vote against the bill were dropped from the compromise legislation, conservatives notched some modest wins on provisions to curtail diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Also not in the final bill is a ban on drag shows on military bases. The Defense Department earlier this year announced it was banning drag shows, something the NDAA negotiators noted in their report explaining the compromise agreement.

The bill does include a ban on displaying “unapproved” flags, a provision intended to target LGBTQ+ pride flags. But Defense Department policy already prohibits flying unofficial flags, a policy that was put in place in 2020 to rid military bases of the Confederate flag but that also applies to pride flags.

The bill also curbs diversity initiatives in several ways.

While the compromise does not go as far as the House-passed bill in entirely eliminating diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, programs, it would freeze any new DEI jobs until the Government Accountability Office delivers a report on the DEI workforce. The bill would also cap pay for civilian DEI employees.

The bill would also ban teaching “critical race theory” at military academies and during military training.

But it narrowly defines critical race theory, an academic framework for studying systemic racism, as the “theory that individuals, by virtue of race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past.”

The language on critical race theory stipulates that the bill does not “supersede the institutional autonomy or academic freedom of instructors” to choose their own teaching materials.

The compromise bill also includes a “parent’s bill of rights” to allow Department of Defense Education Activity parents to review their school’s curriculum, instructional materials and all books in the school library.

The provision has been likened to conservative efforts at the state and local levels to restrict teaching about LGBTQ+ and racial issues.

One anti-diversity provision that was taken out of the final bill was a measure to ban affirmative action at the military service academies. . . . (read more on Military.com)



Congress’ Final Defense Bill Cracks Down On Pentagon DEI Bureaucracy (Daily Caller, 7 DEC 23)

A compromise version of Congress’ annual defense bill unveiled late Wednesday freezes hiring for the Pentagon’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy and temporarily caps salaries of DEI administrators.

The House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2024 would have eliminated all DEI positions from the Department of Defense (DOD), but the conference settled for the Senate’s version that bans the DOD from creating or filling new DEI postings until the Pentagon submits an investigation of DEI workforce to Congress, according to the bill report.

Republicans chalked up the provision as hard-fought win with the Democrat-controlled Senate and could help House Speaker Mike Johnson convince more hardline Republicans to go along with the $886 billion bill.

“House Republicans fought hard to gut Biden’s DEI bureaucracy at the Department of Defense,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. Rogers touted the House GOP’s efforts to restore the military’s focus “on capability and lethality instead of Biden’s far-left political priorities.”. . . . (read more)


ALL: “There are few people that have looked, more than I have, into woke theory and how it manifests itself in the federal government and through federal policies.

The @SpeakerJohnson #NDAA is an absolute retreat and cave on combating woke systemic racism and sexism in the military.

The so called “victories” are almost entirely hollow or fake.

Either this was intentional, or Speaker Johnson allowed himself to be bullied by Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries, or this was bad staff work (whether intentional or due to ignorance).

The end result is failure in any event.”


‘Negotiated’ Defense Bill Lets Leftists Keep Using The Military To Push Abortion, DEI, And Trans Agendas (Federalist, 7 DEC 23)

House and Senate negotiators released the text of a “negotiated” defense spending bill on Wednesday night that predictably allows leftists’ Marxist takeover of the U.S. military to go unchallenged.

Deliberated on behind closed doors by House and Senate leaders this week, the finalized draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 — which clocks in at more than 3,000 pages — permits Democrat-backed ideologies and policies remaking America’s armed forces to remain in place for at least another year.

Among the most notable is the allowance of the Pentagon’s unlawful and immoral abortion policy to continue. . . .

. . . . An amendment included in the House version sought to prohibit the secretary of defense from “appointing or employing a military or civilian employee whose annual pay rate exceeds the equivalent of the rate payable for GS-10 to any position with duties related to [DEI] policy.”

The finalized draft released Wednesday night, however, waters down this prohibition to only limit the cap to Pentagon civilian workers “whose primary duties are related to DEI.”

While the “negotiated” bill does include a provision barring the DOD from creating and filling new agency positions related to DEI, that prohibition is only temporary.

As noted in the measure, the ban only lasts from the 2024 NDAA’s enactment until the U.S. comptroller general submits “the review of the Department of Defense diversity, equity, and inclusion workforce” required by the Senate Armed Services Committee to Congress.

Gone is the House version’s provision to “eliminate every office within the Department of Defense established to promote” DEI.

The bill also fails to include an amendment from the House-passed version that would ban the Pentagon from using taxpayer funds to pay for “drag shows, drag queen story [hours], or similar event[s].”

While the Defense Department banned drag-related events on military bases earlier this year, failure to codify the aforementioned provision into law effectively allows the agency to reverse its current policy anytime it chooses. . . .  (read more)


From Rep. Chip Roy:


Pentagon Bill Now Includes Taxpayer Funding for Abortion, Sex Changes (Daily Signal, 8 DEC 23)

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.

“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 Key Votes “NO” on Conference Report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Heritage Action for America, 7 DEC 23)

Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with 2 million grassroots activists, today announced a key vote in opposition of the Conference Report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670).

Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker released the following statement:

“Americans agree that maintaining a strong national defense involves having a mission-driven military that prioritizes restoring strength at home and ensuring peace abroad. 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. The FY24 NDAA offers an opportunity to fight back, but this final version missed the mark.

“In addition to enabling Biden’s politicization of the military, this agreement willfully rejects efforts to deter the growing influence of Chinese military capabilities. 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 Biden administration’s radical social policies at nearly every federal agency cannot stand. 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. Members of Congress concerned about restoring the strength, size, and integrity of the military while safeguarding our nation’s security should oppose this weak conference report.”

BACKGROUND:

The full text of Heritage Action’s key vote can be found here or below:

KEY VOTE: “NO” on Conference Report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670)

Heritage Action opposes the conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

The FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) should provide our Armed Forces with the tools and resources needed to deter conflict and require the Department of Defense (DoD) to focus solely on its fundamental mission of safeguarding our nation’s security.

The FY24 NDAA conference report fails to adequately fulfill these responsibilities and further undermines the integrity of our military.

The House-passed version was an important step in restoring mission-driven military priorities and strong defense capabilities. The bill represented a needed refocus on policies and authorities to defend our nation by rejecting a political agenda at the DoD that divides, distracts, and disarms our servicemembers.

The American people should not be forced to fund a Pentagon that facilitates abortion, enables sex reassignment surgeries, and promotes the corrosive influence of Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Unfortunately, many of those necessary policy changes were stripped from the final conference report.

The agreement is made even worse by rejecting multiple efforts to deter the growing influence and military capabilities of our adversary, China—including provisions to sanction fentanyl traffickers and protect U.S. agricultural land.

Most significantly, the conference report throws out the bipartisan, Senate-passed language to curb U.S. capital freely flowing into China with few restrictions, little oversight, and minimal prohibitions. The pensions and savings of millions of Americans are financing China’s military buildup. Lawmakers who inexplicably opposed these efforts to combat the CCP—despite their frequent campaign promises—missed a meaningful opportunity to begin scrutinizing these problematic investments into China.

Further, the measure includes a short-term extension of an important national security tool, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), but with no reforms, which are essential.

This is a massive missed opportunity to debate fixes to the federal government’s glaring abuses. A

t a time when far too many Americans are rightfully concerned with federal overreach and bias in the intelligence community, especially the FBI, Congress must reform the FBI and FISA, as outlined by The Heritage Foundation.

At a time when aggressors across the globe are threatening American interests and influence, public confidence in the U.S. military is at one of its lowest levels ever amid a persistent and historic recruitment crisis and growing politicization at the Pentagon.

Americans deserve a strong response from their elected leaders. This FY24 NDAA conference report does not meet the moment and fails to refocus our military in a way that would restore strength at home and ensure peace abroad.

Heritage Action opposes the conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

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