The House has voted to approve the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022 with wide bipartisan support. The bill, which sets the guidelines for defense policy, authorizes spending in line with the Pentagon’s priorities, though it does not appropriate the spending itself.
The vote was 316-113.
The Senate will need to pass its own version of the bill, and then the two chambers will iron out the differences in the coming months at a conference committee.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus railed against the legislation earlier this week, claiming it provided a “blank check” to the Biden administration in the wake of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
The caucus also urged GOP members to vote against the defense authorization in a statement, saying that “this administration’s political posturing puts priorities like funding critical race theory for our service members and forcing our daughters to sign up for the draft ahead of ensuring our military has the resources to put the safety and security of America first.”
Earlier this summer, members of the House Armed Services Committee forcefully debated the role of teaching critical race theory at military educational institutions during the bill’s committee markup, with Democrats sharply pushing back against Republican efforts to include a ban on the concept. At that same markup, more than a dozen Democrats on the committee joined with Republicans to approve a measure boosting the Pentagon’s budget by $24 billion.
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