In the House this week, members considered an extensive series of amendments proposed for the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which when eventually approved — as is required — will provide funding for the nation’s defense apparatus, along with establishing other policy and programming updates, for the upcoming fiscal year.
A group of far-right Republicans who have previously expressed their general opposition to the U.S. providing assistance to Ukraine amid the latter’s war with Russia introduced a series of amendments meant to in some way restrict the U.S. relationship with the European country, but these initiatives largely failed. One example came from Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), who sponsored a move that would have erased the so-called lend-lease authority for providing some assistance for Ukraine. A similar authority was also used by the U.S. during World War II, in general providing just a mechanism for dealing with the cost of the help that’s given.
A full 360 members of the House, including many Republicans, voted against the Ogles amendment, which had familiar names like Colorado’s Lauren Boebert among its supporters. Republicans currently control the House with a slim majority, but that party’s leadership in the chamber has not been enough to actually ensure consistent passage of the GOP’s proposals. In one example, Democrats had to pull through to get the debt ceiling deal — for which Republicans had clamored — over the finish line after some Republicans decried the arrangement struck between House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the White House as essentially not good enough.
Points of contention included funding for the IRS, about which some Republicans have raised concerns about the ostensibly looming targeting of everyday Americans. Back in the present, meaning amid the negotiations in the House over the defense spending deal, other failed proposals from the Republican Party’s MAGA wing included a bid from Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) to broadly block U.S. security assistance for Ukraine and a push from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) to thwart the provision of controversial cluster munitions to Ukraine.