All House Republicans vote against neo-nazi probe of military and federal law enforcement
The House of Representatives spent its week on the annual National Defense Authorization Act, working its way through hundreds of amendments filed by lawmakers.
Rep. Brad Schneider’s (D-IL) amendment directing the government to analyze and set out strategies to combat White supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the military and federal law enforcement passed 218-208, with no Republican votes.
Rep. Pete Aguilar’s (D-CA) amendment requiring the Secretary of Defense to implement strategies to screen individuals and counter extremism in the military passed 217-206 with just one Republican vote: Rep. Upton (MI).
Rep. Linda Sánchez’s (D-CA) amendment directing the Department of Defense to produce a report on the spread of malign disinformation within the ranks failed 219-207. Ten Democrats voted with Republicans to kill the amendment: Reps. Craig (MN), Davids (KS), Golden (ME), Gottheimer (NJ), Krishnamoorthi (IL), Pappas (NH), Trader (OR), Schrier (WA), Slotkin (MI), and Spanberger (VA).
Rep. Jackie Speier’s (D-CA) amendment to establish a voluntary pilot program to promote the safe storage of personally owned firearms passed 226-203, with seven Republican votes: Reps. Fitzepatrick (PA), Gonzalez (OH), Herrera Beutler (WA), Joyce (OH), Katko (NY), Kinzinger (IL), and Upton (MI).
Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) amendment to establish an Office of Climate Resilience failed 207-219. Democratic Reps. Craig (MN), Cuellar (TX), Golden (ME), Gonzalez (TX), Houlahan (PA), Malinowski (NJ), Schrader (OR), Trone (MD), and Wild (PA) voted against the amendment.
Rep. William Keating’s (D-MA) amendment to establish Climate Change Officer positions are U.S. embassies and consulates failed 208-217. Democratic Reps. Craig (MN), Golden (ME), Himes (CT), Schrader (OR), Slotkin (MI), Spanberger (VA), Stanton (AZ), and Wild (PA) voted against the amendment.
Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) amendment striking the additional $36.9 billion (above Biden’s request) allocated to the Defense budget by Congress failed in a 277-151 vote. 14 Republicans voted in favor and 81 Democrats voted against.
Rep. Norma Torres’ (D-CA) amendment requiring the Defense and State Departments to certify that Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are “credibly investigating and prosecuting members of the military implicated in human rights violations” before providing the countries with defense funding and/or equipment failed in a 217-209 vote. Seven Democrats voted with Republicans to tank the amendment: Reps. Craig (MN), Cullar (TX), Golden (ME), Moulton (MA), Murphy (FL), Slotkin (MI), and Spanberger (VA).
Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) amendment allowing the reduction of the total number of ICBMs deployed in the U.S. failed 270-156. Two Republicans voted in favor, Reps. Massie (KY) and Bishop (NC), and 64 Democrats voted against.
Rep. Garamendi’s (D-CA) amendment preventing the testing and development of “the new, unnecessary” Sentinel (GBSD) nuclear missile failed 309-118. Republican Rep. Bishop (NC) voted in favor and 101 Democrats voted against.
Del. Eleanor Norton’s (D-DC) amendment giving the mayor of Washington, D.C., authority over the D.C. National Guard passed 218-209. One Democrat, Rep. Golden (ME), voted against the addition, and one Republican, Rep. Upton (MI), voted in favor.
The vast majority of Republican proposed amendments did not receive a vote.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed 18 amendments, including one to declare that “combating extremism in the military should not be a top priority for the Department of Defense” and another to ban the discharge of Armed Forces members for refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) filed 28 amendments, including one that prohibits federal funding for extreme risk protection orders (red flag laws) that apply to members of the Armed Forces and veterans, one that repeals the bipartisan gun safety legislation signed into law this month, one that redirects $1 billion to fund a border wall, and another that prohibits the transfer or release of any Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) filed an amendment that would establish immunity for a manufacturer of critical infrastructure, like power lines, when said infrastructure causes a wildfire.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) filed an amendment to limit funding for offshore wind energy infrastructure and another to prohibit funding for the research and testing of electric vehicles.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) filed an amendment directing the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a border wall.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) filed an amendment to allow the Department of Defense to purchase firefighting equipment containing the harmful chemicals called PFAS.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) filed an amendment to prohibit the coverage of gender transition procedures for military family members.
Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL) filed an amendment to prohibit the leasing of military installations to any organization that provides abortion services. He was joined by: Reps. Posey (FL), Boebert, Lauren (CO), Van Drew (NJ), Graves, Garret (LA), Duncan (SC), Carl, Jerry (AL), Crenshaw (TX), Tenney, Claudia (NY), Weber (TX), LaMalfa (CA), Budd (NC), Hern (OK), Clyde (GA), Flores, Mayra (TX), Pfluger (TX), and Steube (FL).
Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ) filed an amendment to exempt defense-related activities from the Endangered Species Act.
Rep. Dan Bishop (NC) filed an amendment to prohibit academic institutions operated by the Department of Defense from promoting Critical Race Theory.
Abortion rights hearings
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing focusing on the impact of Dobbs, during which Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) called America “the most free” nation in the world now that the right to abortion is overturned. Clip.
Rep. Eric Swalwell pressed the Republican witness, Catherine Glenn Foster of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, on the recent case of a ten-year-old rape victim forced to leave Ohio to obtain an abortion. Clip.
Swalwell: Do you think a ten-year-old should choose to carry a baby?
Foster: I believe it would probably impact her life and so therefore it, would fall under any exception, it would not be an abortion.
Swalwell: Wait, it would not be an abortion if a ten-year-old with her parents made a decision not to have a baby that was the result of rape?
Foster: If a ten-year-old became pregnant as a result of rape, and it was threatening her life, then that’s not an abortion. So, it would not fall under any abortion restriction in our nation.
Swalwell turned to Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow, asking her to explain why Foster’s explanation was disinformation:
Warbelow: An abortion is a procedure. It’s a medical procedure that individuals undergo for a wide range of circumstances, including because they have been sexually assaulted, raped in the case of the ten-year-old. It doesn’t matter whether or not there is a statutory exemption. It is still a medical procedure that is understood to be an abortion. Beyond that, I think it’s important to note that there is no exception for the life or the health of the mother in the Ohio law. That is why that ten-year-old had to cross state lines in order to receive an abortion.
Swalwell then went on to introduce into the record Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) since-deleted tweet calling the news story about the ten-year-old “a lie.” Clip.
Swalwell: “The reason that [sent the tweet] is because he doesn’t like what that rape victim represents, which is that this law from the Supreme Court, Dobbs, and the [state] laws that will follow…will bring us government-mandated pregnancies for ten-year-olds…and to deflect from that, they choose to bully and beat up transgender individuals.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) used his time at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion rights to argue with University of California’s Berkeley School of Law Professor Khiara Bridges about transphobia and the definition of a “woman.” Clip.
Hawley: You’ve referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy. Would that be women?
Bridges: Many cis women have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.
Hawley: So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue.
Bridges: We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Sen. Hawley.
Hawley: So your view is that the core of this right, then, is about what…?
Bridges: I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.
Hawley: Wow, you’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks that can have pregnancies?
Bridges: So, I want to note that one out of five transgender persons has attempted suicide.
Hawley: Because of my line of questioning?
Bridges: Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous.