Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Sunday he is “very confident” that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will be a bipartisan bill following the House’s approval of the must-pass legislation, which included conservative amendments, in an unusually partisan vote.
“At the end of the day, this always ends up as a bipartisan bill. But there were some certain policies, like for instance, the Hyde Amendment since 1980 not to fund taxpayer abortions, our members felt was very important to put in there, I think that’s one that will survive,” McCaul told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”
Brennan pointed out a provision put forward by conservatives restricting travel expense reimbursements for service members who get abortions, not the procedures themselves. When asked about the amendment, McCaul defended the vote, claiming, “Well … since 1980, we haven’t funded anything that goes towards taxpayer abortions.”
“Look, this is a process, you know, we had a lot of amendments, our members needed that vote, and I do think at the end of the day, we come together as a conference and it will be a bipartisan bill. I think there’s nothing more important than our national defense and our military,” said McCaul, who serves as the chairman for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Conservative Republican lawmakers in the House added several amendments centered around abortion, transgender rights and inclusion initiatives, leading to a party-line 219-210 vote, with four Republicans opposing the NDAA and four Democrats supporting it.
“I think some of the policies on culture that the Defense Department has instituted has caused problems within our own military. Recruitment is at an all-time low now,” McCaul told Brennan on Sunday. “After Afghanistan and then to watch these videos that these trained, you know, say SEALS have to watch, you know, injecting their own social, moral policies.”
McCaul also stressed service members’ “readiness and our ability to fight war,” saying the “vitally important” legislation should not be politicized at the end of the day.
“I feel very confident that we’ll have a bipartisan bill coming down,” McCaul said.
The bill will now head to the Senate, where Democrats who control the chamber are likely to strip the conservative amendments.
Source : The Hill