The Biden administration issued a stern warning, casting uncertainty over the House’s Department of Defense appropriations bill.
Driven by his opposition to several Republican provisions within the legislation and perhaps in an attempt to muddle an impeachment inquiry, the president’s veto threat looms large.
On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the administration “strongly opposes” the bill in its current form. Nevertheless, the bill could face a long and winding road ahead, as it must navigate the Democrat-controlled Senate before it even reaches President Joe Biden’s desk.
Meanwhile, Congress finds itself teetering on the precipice of a potential government shutdown unless both the House and Senate reach a compromise on funding bills before the Sept. 30 deadline.
The task at hand for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is to garner sufficient support for the bill in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Central to the controversy surrounding the appropriations bill are its provisions from House Republicans.
The OMB vehemently contends that House Republicans provisions would have “devastating consequences including harming access to reproductive healthcare, threatening the health and safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Americans, endangering marriage equality, hindering critical climate change initiatives, and preventing the Administration from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Looming prominently in the background of the ensuing drama is the threat of calling an impeachment inquiry into Biden, which, to persist, depends on funding the government.
One particularly contentious provision presenting an impasse toward an impeachment inquiry is the Pentagon’s policy regarding reproductive healthcare.
This policy has attracted significant criticism from Republican lawmakers, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In response to conservative states passing abortion laws, the Department of Defense implemented a policy covering travel expenses for service members or dependents who need to travel out of state due to local restrictions.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has emerged as a prominent critic of this policy, asserting that it violates federal law. In protest, Tuberville has held up 318 promotions across the branches of armed services.
The Pentagon has maintained a steadfast position, emphasizing that every service member should have equal access to healthcare, regardless of their duty station.
The OMB argues that “Access to reproductive healthcare is critical to service members and their families, and the Department’s ability to recruit, retain, and maintain the readiness of a highly qualified force, of which nearly 20% are women. Prohibiting the use of appropriated funds to implement these policies … would, in effect, infringe on the Secretary of Defense’s lawful authorities to promote a resilient military.”
Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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