Moulton votes ‘no’ on defense spending act that ‘attacks reproductive rights’

Congessman and Iraq war veteran Seth Moulton, who represents Marblehead and the sixth district, today voted against the FY ’24 National Defense Authorization Act, saying it has been hijacked by Republicans and targets abortion access for servicewomen.

“This morning, I voted against this new bill full of extremist amendments that harm our troops,” Moulton wrote in a statement. “The now partisan Republican bill attacks reproductive rights and access to basic health care for women in uniform. “

Congressman Seth Moulton (right) at a recent Veterans Day ceremony in Marblehead. CURRENT PHOTO / NICOLE GOODHUE BOYD

The NDAA is an important piece of legislation that lays the foundation for the policies, organizations and expenditures of the United States defense agencies. Today’s House-approved version would limit abortion access, transgender care and DEI training for military personnel. The vote was 219-210, with nearly unanimous GOP support.

Today’s vote is expected to lead to a Senate showdown at a time when several key defense items are at risk, including a pay raise for troops.

“I am disappointed that the damage done to this NDAA means that the priorities I fought to include —like important mental health measures — are now at risk,” Moulton wrote.

He joined other Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee in a joint statement.

“What was once an example of compromise and functioning government has become an ode to bigotry and ignorance,” the Democrats wrote. “Attacks on reproductive rights, access to basic health care and efforts to address our country’s history of racism and marginalization of huge swaths of our country will worsen our recruitment and retention crisis, make our military less capable and do grievous harm to our national defense and national security.”

Moulton said he will not give up his work for a more fair NDAA, as the House bill is reconciled with a Senate version.

“At a time when we need to address recruitment crisis and focus on future threats, this legislation undermines both. Above all else: it does not adequately support our troops,” he said.

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