As the days tick down to Sept. 30, when Congress is required to pass FY2024 defense authorization and appropriations bills, eliminating woke policies from the Pentagon is a sticking point. Conceding that no one expects Congress to do its job and approve funding legislation on time, passing a stopgap funding measure — or a continuing resolution (CR), as it’s called — is the problem. Will the Freedom Caucus of conservative Republicans be committed to protecting the American taxpayer from having to fund a woke Pentagon?
The task at hand is to hold the line on not funding critical race theory indoctrination at service academies, pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda, and sponsoring drag-queen shows on military installations. Similar standoffs in the past have had limited success.
Pushing the Pentagon to Abandon Woke Policies
With the passage of the House version of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Liberty Nation reported:
“While facing severe recruiting problems, the US Navy’s desire to use men in drag to lure potential recruits raised the ire of Republican legislators’ constituencies, prompting the anti-woke reaction codified in the House version of the FY2024 NDAA. ‘None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this may be obligated or expended for drag show, drag queen story, or similar event,’ the bill reads.”
It’s instructive to remember, “The 219-210 vote margin that carried the legislation was an unambiguous message by House Republicans,” not just the Freedom Caucus. Whether it will be successful in the Senate remains an open question. Preventing government funding assistance for abortions for military members was also part of the NDAA. The failure of the Pentagon to purge its radical, progressive agenda apologists and push for a firm war-readiness status instead of caving to the social justice and LGBTQ+ minority has brought the Defense Department to a place where its funding is at issue.
In an Aug. 21 statement, the House Freedom Caucus clarified its position. “Today, the House Freedom Caucus released the following position on the possible Continuing Resolution before the expiration of government funding on September 30,” the statement began. “We will oppose any spending measure that fails to: … End the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission,” the statement went on. The progressives in Congress and the Defense Department have a different take, of course. Without a compelling case for the Pentagon’s divisive policies, the progressives raise the specter of the dreaded government shutdown.
Using the usual over-the-top rhetoric, far-left House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) warned in a tweet: “House Republicans are determined to shut down the government and crash our economy.” Rebecca Kheel for Military.com joined the fearmongering: “Risk of a government shutdown this fall is rising after a powerful bloc of House conservatives vowed to oppose any stopgap spending measure that does not roll back Pentagon policies they consider ‘woke.’”
Does Government Shutdown Always Have a Cataclysmic Consequence?
Never has not passing a continuing resolution crashed the economy. Even when government shutdowns have occurred, little or no lasting consequences have resulted. Since 1980 and President Jimmy Carter’s administration, the government has shut down for failure to pass a CR ten times. Government shutdowns occurred once under Carter, twice under President Ronald Reagan, once under President George H.W. Bush, twice under President Bill Clinton, once under President Barack Obama, and once under President Donald Trump, but with a three-week break when the government shut down again. Five of the shutdowns were with Democrats in charge of the House. Important to note is that all government employees, including the military, got paid. The economy did not crash. Western civilization did not end.
On the other hand, CRs make defense programs harder to implement, rendering them more costly. Even the Department of Defense rails against CRs. “Operating under a CR moves our budget backward, not forward, reducing our topline by at least $3 billion per month below the level President [Joe] Biden requested,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin informed Congress in a letter, according to Liberty Nation.
After all the strident voices have been heard, closing down the government has never had lasting effects. But Having a Pentagon that promotes social justice, critical race theory, and taxpayer-funded abortion assistance over readiness and mission accomplishment eventually places America in great danger.
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