December 13, 2023

Congress Defense Spending Compromise Drops Abortion Spending Amendment

On December 7, the US House and Senate armed services committees approved a compromised version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This compromise version dropped several House amendments, including one that would have prohibited the US military from using taxpayer dollars to fund travel expenses for abortions.

The NDAA is an annual spending package that sets the military's budget. Recent decisions by the Biden administration, such as abortion travel funding, have made this year's NDAA more controversial than usual.

The pro-life amendment in the House version of the bill was meant to combat Biden's post-Dobbs policy that allowed military members and their dependents to use taxpayer dollars to travel out of state for elective abortions. While taxpayer dollars could not fund abortion directly, they are used to pay the abortion travel expenses of those who are stationed in states with pro-life laws.

The committees only met to reconcile differences between House and Senate spending packages. To pass the compromise legislation, it will still need to be approved by both bodies of Congress before going to President Joe Biden's desk.