MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Sewell Votes Against Republicans’ Partisan Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07)

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted against the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after the bill was hijacked and poisoned by extreme MAGA Republicans.

“I am beyond disappointed that House Republican leadership has once again abandoned a 62-year long tradition of bipartisanship and used our national defense bill to advance their wish list of extreme partisan demands,” said Rep. Sewell. “I cannot vote for a bill that would rip basic health care away from our service members and make bigotry and discrimination a centerpiece of our Armed Forces. It is my hope that these partisan provisions will be stripped during Senate negotiations so that I can vote for a strong bipartisan defense bill. House Republicans need to stop playing games with our national security.”

Passed annually by Congress since 1961, the NDAA authorizes funding levels for the Department of Defense (DoD) and allows the Armed Forces to pay, train, and equip U.S. service members, support America’s allies around the world, and carry out essential national security operations.

In May, with Rep. Sewell’s support, the FY25 NDAA passed out of the House Armed Services Committee by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 57 to 1. That version focused on improving the quality of life for our service members and their families, including a 19.5% pay raise for junior enlisted service members. Rep. Sewell successfully secured key provisions to support Alabama’s military installations, improve pancreatic cancer research, and expand maternal health care for military families. She also secured funding for research at HBCUs and provisions to help increase diversity in military leadership and boost DoD’s STEM outreach to middle and high school students. 

This week, rather than moving forward with the bipartisan version of the bill advanced by the Armed Services Committee, House Speaker Mike Johnson caved to the most extreme members of his party, allowing them to poison the NDAA by forcing through partisan, culture war amendments.

Extreme Republican amendments would undermine military readiness and harm service members by:

  • Attacking Diversity Initiatives and Making the Military Less Inclusive: At a time when DoD faces serious recruiting challenges, particularly among Black and minority recruits, Republicans forced through amendments eliminating diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and personnel and DoD’s Chief Diversity Officer.  
  • Stripping Away Health Care for Service Members: The NDAA includes a cruel, harmful amendment to roll back a DoD policy helping service women travel to get the reproductive health care they need, putting at risk the health and lives of over 230,000 women in uniform. It also includes amendments to strip medically-necessary care for LGBTQ+ service members.