Boebert: Delivering results for our men and women in uniform |

Boebert: Delivering results for our men and women in uniform

Lauren Boebert
Guest Opinion

“It never used to be this way.” I’ve heard those words from my experienced colleagues time and again since joining the House of Representatives. The vitriol, I’m told, is at an all-time high in the Swamp with very few things not succumbing to the partisan divide.

Lauren Boebert

One of the historically bipartisan pieces of legislation is the National Defense Authorization Act, commonly known as the NDAA. This is arguably the largest piece of legislation that must pass Congress every single year. Thankfully, the NDAA has historically never been a partisan issue as both Republicans and Democrats have agreed on providing the very best training and equipment for our men and women in uniform. Sadly, this year, House Democrats broke from tradition and tried to use the NDAA to push their woke agenda on our military.

The first version of the NDAA which passed the House on September 23rd was a leftist wish list full of provisions that distract from national security and readiness. This version of the bill included provisions to draft our daughters, implement red-flag laws, create a mandatory $15 minimum wage for DoD contractors, and establish an ‘Office of Countering Extremism’ within the military. Especially harmful to the Third District, the NDAA even included Rep. Diana DeGette’s Wilderness and Rep. Joe Neguse’s CORE Acts even though they have nothing to do with national defense and aim to lock up significantly more land in Colorado.

I voted against this version of the bill.

I’m for funding our military, but the bad outweighed the good in the original House version of the bill. And I could not, in good conscience, support legislation that would ultimately ruin our military with woke policies.

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House and Senate Republicans worked across the aisle to remove partisan provisions from the final version of our national defense bill. My fellow conservatives and I made it clear we do not support drafting our daughters, and that red-flag laws that would disarm veterans have no place in the NDAA. We also worked to ensure service members who choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine are not dishonorably discharged and have an opportunity to get a medical or religious exemption from this unconstitutional mandate.

The final version also included vast improvements that will increase our defense capabilities and put our service members first. For example, there were provisions included to remove Chinese products from the DoD supply chain by 2027 and a prohibition on defense funds being funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology or spent on products produced by Uyghur slave labor.

This version of the bill also included wins for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. The bill requires the Army to finish planning for the eventual decommissioning of the Pueblo Chemical Weapons Depot. I led the charge to defeat and remove the DeGette and Neguse land grab bills, preventing more than 760,000 acres of land in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District from being locked up by the federal government, that would have made it far more difficult to manage our forests responsibly. There was also a provision in the bill to study the establishment of the Space National Guard.

On Dec. 7, when the bill came back to the House floor for a vote, I was proud to vote in favor of the much-improved National Defense Authorization Act. It wasn’t a perfect bill; for example, I would have ended President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military servicemen and women entirely, but it was much better than the first draft.

The second version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the bill I voted for, ensures that the American military remains the most capable and lethal fighting force in the world.

As many of you know, I will always fight against the radical left when they try to restrict our rights and freedoms. I am proud that even as a representative in the minority, I was able to hold firm on my principles but still deliver meaningful results for the American people. Most importantly, our troops will have the resources they need to accomplish their missions and keep America safe. The security of our country is better off because of the changes made to the NDAA. The American people and our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.

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