House Defense bill is loaded with bans on abortion care, trans health care and DEI initiatives

July 14, 2023

House Republicans are using an annual must-pass federal bill to target abortion access, gender affirming care and diversity initiatives in the military. 

Those amendments led almost all House Democrats to oppose must-pass legislation authorizing defense funding and policies, a bill that included measures some of them championed. The legislation is largely used to pay for the military and allow it to continue operations, but like many Washington endeavors, is also used as a way for lawmakers to get their priorities passed into law. 

Those priorities aren’t always flashy, but they can be important to voters in a representative’s district. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, used this year’s legislation to ensure the military cleans up any toxins on a former Army base in Rio Vista. The base was closed in 1992 and ownership was transferred to the city, but concerns over toxic chemicals have plagued the local community. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Santa Cruz, included an amendment to increase access to financial support for low-income military members.


California Democrats decried the version of the bill that passed on Friday. The final bill “is a sad testimony to the extremism the House Republican majority has become: one of bigotry, ignorance, and hate,” Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, tweeted.

House Republicans “hijacked traditionally-bipartisan negotiations to include culture war provisions that attack women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ folks,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said in a statement.


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By:  Shira Stein
Source: San Francisco Chronicle