WASHINGTON — National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the Republican-controlled House version of the annual defense policy bill had no chance of making it to President Joe Biden’s desk after Republicans added a litany of culture war amendments to the bill that “mix national social debates with our nation’s security needs.
Sullivan on CNN’s “State of the Union”” criticized what he called “an extreme group of Republicans” for pushing through several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, reversing several Pentagon policies that House conservatives claim were a wake-up call in the armed forces.
Sullivan said the NDAA “should be an area where politics stops and national security begins.”
Last week, House Republicans passed, by a majority partisan vote, the annual defense bill, which sets out the Pentagon’s policy agenda and authorizes the use of federal funding. The bill is traditionally a bipartisan endeavor, but members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of the chamber’s most conservative lawmakers, lobbied House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to allows voting on amendments to the bill ranging from overturning an abortion policy to restricting gender-affirming care for members of transgender services.
McCarthy defended the legislation at a press conference last week hailing the bill’s passage.
“A military man can’t defend himself if you train him to wake up,” McCarthy told reporters. “We want our men and women in the military to have every defense possible, and our bill does that.”
The Senate is expected to pass its own version of the annual defense bill soon. Sullivan said he expects the House and Senate to be able to solidify their differences and produce a bipartisan bill.
“Once the Senate comes back with the House, we will end up in a place where there will be a broad bipartisan bill that can be sent to the president’s office for him to sign,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan added that he thought most House GOP lawmakers weren’t interested in the partisan business that took up much of the oxygen in the NDAA debate and blamed “a small group of Republicans to force their more moderate colleagues to support the bill.
“That’s what a certain group of Republicans are trying to do now. Ultimately, I don’t believe it will succeed because I believe wisdom will prevail,” Sullivan said.
Notice: Republicans continue to spread hate and fear with defense bill attacking DCI and abortion
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Defense bill won’t make it to Biden’s office, says national security adviser