One of the advantages the Democrats have had for many years over the Republicans is that they have more legislative and cultural courage in the sense that no matter how absurd, no matter how left-wing, no matter how unpopular their actions are, they stick to their guns.
Whereas some Republicans, other than the president, sniff the slightest whiff of political grapeshot and fold like a cheap card table.
So it was on Monday, as the House Armed Services Committee unanimously passed its version of the defense budget for 2021. Democrat and Republican House members passed the$740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a 56-0 vote on Wednesday.
When you see a unanimous vote on the Hill, given the above reason, you can bet the GOP surrendered. That’s what happened here over the renaming of Army posts currently named for Confederate generals.
The bill underwent a 14-hour mark-up session before reaching its final form in the House. Republican committee members voted for this even though the president already said he would veto it because of the post renaming provision.
Granted, no matter what the Republicans did the Democrat bill would pass the committee and the full House, as the Democrats have the votes to do it.
So perhaps the GOP just wanted to take a race hustling target off its back. But folding like that only tells the Democrats the GOP does not have the guts to stand up for itself —as has happened again and again— and will be easier to roll the next time around.
To get this done liberal lawmakers in both the House and Senate reportedly used the recent nationwide violent riots to shame the GOP. The nervous and weak GOP caved. “If there was ever a moment in American history to fundamentally alter our national priorities, now is the time,” said Vermont socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
The House bill includes the demand for the Department of Defense to rename the bases and other military properties within one year. The Senate’s version of the budget includes a similar policy, although it gives the Pentagon three years to make the change. Recalling Stockholm Syndrome, the GOP crowed about their surrender.
The House bill also includes a ban on Confederate flags on all defense properties. The committee also denied the amendment to curtail the Insurrection Act, which President Trump threatened to invoke at the peak of the violent rioting last month.
As the country continues to deal with the pandemic, the bill would give $1 billion to the Pentagon’s pandemic preparedness fund.
Last year’s fight over Pentagon funding being used for the southern border wall resurfaced and this year’s bill puts a $100 million cap on emergency use of military construction funding for domestic projects. This impedes the president’s program—and the GOP went for it.
The bill also includes an amendment to put limits on potential troop withdrawals from Africa, South Korea, Afghanistan and Germany. Again, impeding the president with Republican help.
This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on July 7, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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