Democrats Jeopardize National Defense by Politicizing Military Authorization Bill with Unrelated Additions

Chuck Schumer
Samuel Corum/Getty

Democrats are seeking to attach things unrelated to the nation’s defense to an annual defense bill in an attempt to get it passed, jeopardizing the bill’s passage and national security.

The defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), authorizes Pentagon activities and spending, making it must-pass legislation for the past 62 years. The bill is usually hundreds of pages long and authorizes hundreds of billions in spending, and is often a vehicle for lawmakers to get non-defense related policies through.

But this year, Democrats are especially relying on it as a vehicle to get major unrelated policies through, in the expected absence of a major omnibus spending bill before the end of the year, and before Republicans take over the House in January — infuriating Republicans and jeopardizing the passage of the bill and necessary authorizations for military spending and activities.

For example, Democrats are trying to include the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which would allow mainstream media outlets to form a cartel to negotiate with Big Tech, to the detriment of independent and conservative media outlets.

Another item is the SAFE Banking Act, pushed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), backed by some Republicans. The bill would let cannabis companies access banking institutions and create grants for state expungement of past marijuana convictions, according to Axios.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 28, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Another is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), which seeks to “eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security” for workers limited by “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; and for other purposes.”

Sen. Bob Casey

Sen. Bob Casey (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democrats are also trying to attach a permitting bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that would change the permitting process for energy infrastructure, and transport natural gas from his home state to Virginia.


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) at the Capitol in Washington on August 1, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress has just weeks before recess begins and before the new Congress is slated to be sworn in on January 3, 2023, which would upend Democrats’ plans.

Senate Republicans raised alarm bells as early as October that Democrats were trying to stuff unrelated policies into the defense bill.

A Senate aide told Breitbart News in October that the use of the NDAA to pass unrelated policies “happens every year and it’s getting worse.”

“The NDAA should be about purchasing the right weapons systems and protecting troops,” the aide said. “No Republican should let the bill get hijacked.”


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