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Molinaro, Stefanik back defense bill with controversial amendments, while Tonko, Ryan oppose

Jul 17, 2023 12:33 pm

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Republican Hudson Valley representatives voted July 14 for a controversial defense spending bill last week, while the Democrats voted against. Marc Molinaro and Elise Stefanik voted for the bill that would stop military personnel from being reimbursed for travel for out of state abortions. The bill, which Democrats Paul Tonko and Pat Ryan voted against, would also end diversity initiatives in the military. Ryan said, “Far-right extremists just highjacked the (National Defense Authorization Act) to rip away reproductive rights from female soldiers.... These are brave women risking their lives every day to defend our fundamental freedoms. I’ll be standing with my fellow patriots and voting NO on the bill. I was proud to support the NDAA as reported out of committee, which followed the 60+ year precedent of bipartisanship on this crucial legislation. The far-right is risking our national security for selfish, political gain.” Molinaro's statement after the vote ignored the controversial aspects of the bill, and focused on more popular topics. Molinaro said, “(The amendments) are significant wins for our national defense and the well-being of our servicemembers, military families, and veterans.... My measures expand mental health care for our military, support military families with disabilities, and ensure access to quality healthcare.” The U.S. Senate, led by Democrats, will vote on a very different bill, and the two chambers will have to work out the differences. In the House, the vote was 219-to-210, with four Democrats and four Republicans switching sides in a mostly partisan vote. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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