Democrats abstained from the measure, which had passed the House Armed Services Committee with nearly unanimous support a few weeks earlier, but was loaded with Republican priorities during a contentious discussion late at night before the Friday session. According to the AP, the final vote was 219 to 210 with four Democrats voting with the GOP and four Republicans against. In the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, the bill is expected to fail.
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The defense bill, which follows President Biden’s budget request, authorizes $874.2 billion for defense spending in the coming year. The actual distribution of funds will take place later, when Congress deals with the appropriation bills, as is customary. Republicans added provisions to halt Defense Department diversity initiatives and limit access to abortions after failed attempts to stop US funding for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who is single-handedly delaying Senate confirmation of military officers, including the new commandant of the Marine Corps, has championed the abortion issue. Additional Steps to Reverse Pentagon Diversity and Inclusion Policies and Hinder Some Transgender Medical Care
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