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U.S. House Republicans narrowly pass anti-‘woke’ defense spending bill

Chris Graham
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The House Freedom Caucus, which can’t define “woke,” but knows it doesn’t like whatever it is, pushed a narrow majority vote on an anti-“woke” military-spending bill on Friday, turning the nearly trillion-dollar defense budget into another social-engineering bargaining chip.

“America’s military should be focused on mission readiness and lethality, not woke indoctrination,” tweeted Sixth District Republican Ben Cline after the 219-210 U.S. House vote, telling you all you need to know about what Republicans are after.

Amendments to the bill demanded by far-right conservatives would limit abortion access for women serving in states that have limited or banned procedures in wake of the Dobbs decision, prohibit care for trans servicemembers and curtail diversity training for military personnel.

The initiatives have no chance of passing the U.S. Senate, setting up the latest dumb showdown over inclusive social policies supported by a solid majority of Americans, but opposed by the anti-“woke” mob.

“The House Freedom Caucus insisted on using this normally bipartisan bill as an experiment to test fringe ideas — including endangering the lives of women in the military who need emergency medical care and casting doubts on the effectiveness of vaccines. Rather than send a message to the world that both parties stand with our servicemembers — regardless of our policy disagreements, they chose to prioritize getting headlines,” Seventh District Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said in a statement released by her office.

“This partisan bill puts us on a dangerous path towards not being able to reach an agreement on funding our military. In the coming weeks, I look forward to the U.S. Senate delivering a more sensible NDAA — and I look forward to voting for a bipartisan bill that will make it to the President’s desk, give our servicemembers the support they deserve, and strengthen America’s national security,” Spanberger said.

The far-right push is also putting moderate Republicans on the defensive. Rob Wittman, who represents the First District in the House, ended up voting for the bill, but defended his decision to do so without making any reference to the anti-“woke” nonsense from the likes of Cline and Fifth District Congressman Bob Good.

“After many hours of thoughtful debate, I am pleased to see Congress pass this critical piece of legislation to ensure the U.S. military is the most effective and lethal fighting force in the world,” Wittman said in a statement from his office. “Congress passed a comprehensive bill that will advance military modernization, counter China’s increasing aggression in the Indo-Pacific, and support the well-being of our brave men and women in uniform – all while implementing efficient budget savings and accountability measures.”

It’s almost like the anti-“woke” stuff wasn’t in the bill, per Wittman.

Good, in his statement, posted on Twitter, cleared up whatever confusion there may have been to that effect.

“No conservative should support taxpayer dollars funding transgender surgeries for members of the military,” Good tweeted. “I applaud my fellow Republicans for blocking money for the DOD’s radical policy. Our military should be focused on readiness, not gender ideology.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].