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Republican threatens to turn military against own party

Republican Rep. Mike Garcia is threatening to turn the military and the American public against his own party if the Republican Party’s right flank continues to block the House vote on the Pentagon spending bill.

Garcia said that if his Republican colleagues voted Tuesday afternoon against ruling debate on the annual defense funding bill, he would hold a news conference with military veterans to step up pressure to pass the bill. Republicans’ $826 billion defense appropriations bill.

Garcia’s office said News week he would hold the press conference on the steps of the Capitol immediately after the first vote.

“I’m going to go out with every veteran I can and explain to the American people that within the ranks of the Republican Party we have people who are willing to play games to the point where they no longer care about our ( troops)”, Garcia told Axios’ Juliegrace Brufkeaccording to his post on X (formerly Twitter).

For weeks, the Republican defense bill has been stalled in the House, where Republican Party infighting has prevented House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from bringing it to a vote. With conservative lawmakers still unaware of the bill — and can only afford four Republican defections — McCarthy abandoned plans for an initial procedural vote last week.

Rep. Mike Garcia speaks with reporters as he leaves a House Republican caucus meeting Tuesday. If his Republican colleagues vote against the debate rule on the defense funding bill, he plans to hold a news conference with veterans on the Capitol steps.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

“To my fellow Republicans who are voting against a rule to prevent the most conservative DOD bill in decades from being debated: you are helping to extend Biden’s dangerous policies and further handicap us against China,” Garcia wrote on X before Tuesday’s vote. vote.

“This is more than a procedural vote. If you have any problems with the bill, let’s debate it and amend it on the spot,” he said. “Our troops depend on Republicans as their last line of defense. They will take this personally. I take this personally.”

Last week, Republican Party Reps. Dan Bishop and Ralph Norman said they planned to vote against the procedural rule, pointing out that Republican leaders had failed to provide hard-line conservatives with the most important numbers for 12 appropriations bills.

Before the procedural vote scheduled for last week, the House Rules Committee had proposed 184 amendments for debate. The bill includes a number of Republican legislative priorities, including a crackdown on Pentagon diversity programs, an abortion travel policy and medical treatments for transgender people.

“I am proud to say that this bill funds our national defense needs in a fiscally responsible manner,” Republican Rep. Ken Calvert, who chairs the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a statement. from a hearing last week. “Specifically, this bill cuts approximately $20 billion from the President’s misguided request and reinvests those funds into warfighting capabilities and additional support for our military.”

After last week’s failed vote, GOP Rep. Steve Womack said the developments suggest the House GOP is “dysfunctional” and “conflicted.”

Even if the measure manages to pass the House, it is unlikely to be approved by the Democratic-led Senate. President Joe Biden has said he would veto the bill if it reaches his desk.


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