Congressional GOP Should Not Pass a Defense Authorization Bill Without These 8 Policies

Written by Daniel Horowitz

Will this finally be the week when Republicans take a critical look at our woke and broken military?

For years, as the military deteriorated in terms of its values, leadership, and mission focus, Republicans were solely focused on the top-line spending of how much we unconditionally shovel at the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex. After all, it was supposedly all to “support the troops.” But even when they had the chance to debate and vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, which is supposed to be a policy bill, their main focus was appropriations and not policy changes.

Indeed, the current defense bill would have defense spending rise from $858.6 billion in the current fiscal year (already a massive increase from FY 2022) to $886 billion in FY 2024. But if we continue to fund corruption, Ukraine, and a woke military, then what is the purpose?

This week, the House will consider the FY 2024 NDAA. On Tuesday, the Rules Committee will sort through over 1,400 amendments and decide which ones will get a vote. There are a number of good amendments, but here are some much-needed policy changes in the following areas: 1) ending systemic racism in the military; 2) terminating COVID fascism; 3) canceling the climate stupidity; 4) defeating gender ideology; 5) stopping the Ukrainian heist; 6) targeting the waste and fraud of the military-industrial complex; 7) prioritizing our border as a military mission; and 8) limiting the surveillance state the defense agencies have weaponized against Americans.

Here is the list of amendments. Many members have similar amendments, so if I’m elevating one over the other, it’s for the purpose of brevity, not to slight any member.

1) Ending Systemic Racism in the Military

The military is the last place where we should be teaching inferiority or guilt of one race. It is the ultimate pride of the nation and should represent true equality. Here are some worthy amendments that should be passed:

  • 1421 Rep. Jim Banks: Prohibits any funds authorized in the bill from being used by the military service academies to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity in academy admissions or to establish quotas for admission on the basis of race or ethnicity.
  • 1000 Reps. Eli Crane, Mary Miller: This amendment prohibits the Department of Defense from making participation in training or support for certain race-based concepts a requirement for hiring, promotion, or retention of individuals. It also ensures that employees and service members cannot be compelled to declare belief in or participate in training that promotes such concepts as a condition of favorable personnel actions. Rep. Chip Roy’s #363 has similar language.

2) Terminating COVID Fascism

Although last year’s NDAA banned the COVID vaccine mandates, there is still widespread discrimination against people for not getting the shots, and almost none of those kicked out have been made whole again. We must also make sure this can never happen again. Here are some amendments addressing it:

  • #1420 Rep. Ralph Norman: This amendment bans all mask mandates in the military.
  • #872 Rep. Dan Bishop et al.: This amendment would prevent the DOD from ever issuing COVID vaccine mandates again. Additionally, it would reinstate those already removed to their previous rank and pay and would provide those who already moved on with their lives the chance to expunge their dishonorable discharge.
  • #454 Rep. Warren Davidson: Requires the DOD to conduct a study on the state of health conditions arising among service members since they were vaccinated.
  • #515 Rep. Lisa McClain: Prohibits all DOD funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as EcoHealth Alliance, any subsidiary of EcoHealth Alliance, any organization directly controlled by EcoHealth Alliance, or any organization or individual that is a subgrantee or subcontractor of EcoHealth Allaince.
  • #187 Rep. George Santos: Prohibits all federal funding to the WHO pending an investigation into the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the international organization.

3) Canceling climate stupidity

  • #1394 Rep. Lauren Boebert: Prevents prioritizing climate politics over national security through expensive Green New Deal contracts for non-tactical vehicles.
  • #1146 Rep. Andy Ogles: Imposes a prohibition on federal funds to support the Green Climate Fund, the Clean Technology Fund, the Global Environment Facility, and other trust funds.

4) Defeating Gender ideology

  • #1386 Rep. Lauren Boebert: Prohibits Department of Defense Education Activity schools from purchasing and having pornographic and radical gender ideology books in their libraries.
  • #1345 Rep. Eric Burlison: Prohibits the DOD from establishing new DEI administrator positions and/or taking actions to fill vacancies in currently existing DEI vacancies.
  • #30 Rep. Ralph Norman: Prohibits provision of gender transition procedures, including surgery or medication, through the Exceptional Family Member Program.
  • #194 Rep. Matt Rosendale: Prohibits TRICARE from covering and the Department of Defense from furnishing castration surgeries and gender hormone treatments.
  • #320 from Rep. Matt Gaetz: Bans the DOD from facilitating any castration operations in DOD or non-DOD facilities.
  • #333 Reps. Gaetz and Luna: Bans people from using showers and bathrooms not in accordance with the sex listed on the individual’s birth certificate.

5) Stopping the Ukraine Heist

Almost no day goes by without the Pentagon giving more money and weapons to Ukraine without any regard for what we hope to accomplish. Now the Biden administration has approved cluster bombs for Ukraine to do nothing but prolong an unwinnable war. The NDAA along with the DOD appropriations bill is the time to finally address this scam. It has gone on for too long.

  • #1206 Rep. Matt Gaetz: Categorically and unconditionally cuts off additional aid to Ukraine. If this is not politically feasible, there are several more important amendments.
  • #1273 Rep. Andy Ogles: Prohibits the use of funds made available to Ukraine until the government of Ukraine ceases to use untrusted communications equipment owned, controlled, or operated by the People’s Republic of China.
  • #1256 Rep. Andy Ogles/Scott Perry: Limits assistance to Ukraine until the secretary of defense certifies to Congress that Ukraine is not providing funding, equipment, training or other support to neo-Nazi militias.
  • #20 Rep. Chip Roy et al.: In addition to funding Ukraine, we are on the hook to defend Ukraine in direct kinetic action. This amendment expresses a sense of Congress that Article 5 of NATO does not supersede the constitutional requirement that Congress declare war or authorize the use of military force prior to engaging in hostilities.

6) Targeting the Military-Industrial Complex

For too long, conservatives have pretended that the rules of rent-seeking in government dictating bad policies don’t apply to the Pentagon. In fact, they apply there more than anywhere else, except perhaps for pharma and HHS. The Pentagon has failed every audit, and a recent report from the Government Accountability Office estimates that $220 billion worth of government-owned gear provided to military contractors is unaccounted for – and that figure is “likely significantly understated.” There are several amendments that target both the lack of accountability and the political rent-seeking and revolving door inherent in the public-private defense establishment.

  • #1383 Rep. Ralph Norman: Any DOD component that fails to pass an independent audit will have 1.5 percent of its budget returned to the Treasury for deficit reduction.
  • #365 Rep. Andy Biggs: Requires the Department of Defense to perform an audit. If it fails to, the discretionary budget authority available for the Department of Defense, the military department, or the Defense Agency shall be reduced by .5 percent.
  • #1362 Rep. Ken Buck: Restricts individuals from working in procurement for the DOD from then transferring to private businesses and resuming work in the same field.
  • #1376 Rep. Ken Buck: Preventing a revolving door of lobbying interests from implicating National Security by instituting a cooling-off period between working at the DOD and working for a defense contractor.
  • #750 Rep. Bob Goode: Implements a 10-year lobbying ban on military officials grade 0-5 and above upon retirement.

7) Reprioritizing Military to Our Own Border

  • #1183 Rep. Jim Baird: Transfers unused federal border construction materials to state governments for their use at the border.
  • #24 Rep. Tom Tiffany: Expressly authorizes the administration to train and deploy members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with efforts to prevent illegal immigration, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and the entry of terrorists, drugs, illegal weapons, and other contraband articles. This amendment could be made stronger with mandates rather than authorization.

8) Terminating the Surveillance State

#1375 Rep. Warren Davidson et al.: In perhaps the most important amendment of the bill, this bipartisan amendment requires the federal government to obtain a warrant before purchasing private cellphone data of citizens from private companies. In other words, it makes obtaining location information, web searches, and internet history of citizens’ protected information under the Fourth Amendment, even if the government paid to obtain the data from third-party vendors.

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of TheBlaze and host of the Conservative Review podcast. He writes on the most decisive battleground issues of our times, including the theft of American sovereignty through illegal immigration, the theft of American liberty through tyranny, and the theft of American law and order through criminal justice “reform.”