Republicans chipped away at what they say is the Pentagon’s woke culture with this year’s must-pass defense policy bill, notching wins against the military vaccine mandate and turning back efforts by congressional Democrats to require women to register for the draft and require additional reporting on political extremism in the ranks. The woke culture must be defeated.
After weeks of backroom talks, House and Senate negotiators released the final text of the $847 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week with little time to spare to shuttle the fiscal 2023 budget authorization bill across the finish line before the end of the lame-duck session of Congress.
Negotiators lauded the 4,400-page compromise as proof of Congress’ ability to work across the aisle on a measure that has attracted bipartisan support on Capitol Hill annually for some six decades. It also sets up some battles with the White House, which has signaled its unhappiness with the provision ending the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for those in the armed services.
“This year’s agreement continues the Armed Services Committees’ 62-year tradition of working together to support our troops and strengthen America’s national security,” leaders on the House and Senate armed services committees said in a joint statement. The final bill, which historically has come with a string of policy riders, includes a 4.6% pay raise for military members, $800 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine and $10 billion in security assistance to Taiwan to thwart a potential Chinese invasion.