WASHINGTON D.C — (07-17-23) — Republicans in the House of Representatives passed its annual defense funding bill that included anti-LGBT amendments that fit the party’s conservative priorities and sticking points like a glove – Knowing it has no chance of passage in the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate.

Rick Perry, the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, which represents the party’s extreme far-right flank in the chamber, called the bill’s passage “a major win for the American people”.

Democrats however decried the bill approved that included anti-LGBTQ, anti-diversity and anti-abortion rights provisions. It passed by a 219 to 210 largely party-line vote in the majority Republican chamber. Four Democrats voted in support of the bill.

The amendments pushed through by House Republicans included gutting diversity, equity and inclusion programs at the Department of Defense. It also banned flying pro-LGBTQ flags at military bases and ended funding for transgender-related medical services.

While the bill is sure to fail in its present form in the Democrat-majority Senate, it offered a temperature of the Republican Party in the run-up to the 2024 election.

A group of Democrats said in a statement to reporters that the defense funding bill is the latest instance of hyper-partisanship in the country. Funding for US defense, while still a matter of debate, had, to a degree, for decades largely escaped larger political fights over social and cultural issues.

“What was once an example of compromise and functioning government has become an ode to bigotry and ignorance,” the Democrats, led by Adam Smith, the party’s top legislator on the armed services committee, said in the statement.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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