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White House spox Kirby claims NDAA limiting abortion, transgender, DEI programs bad for troops

National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 1, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
July 18, 2023

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claims the liberal policies removed by Republican lawmakers from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) are crucial to the country’s military readiness.

Kirby’s claim comes amid a divisive debate on the NDAA, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives on Friday.

The legislation, lauded by Republicans for its stance against what they label as “woke” Pentagon policies, has drawn significant criticism from Democrats, according to Fox News.

Their concerns center around amendments that are designed to limit the Pentagon’s abortion travel reimbursement policy, transgender procedures and the implementation of Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) programs throughout the armed forces.

Kirby responded to these concerns in an interview with CNN News Central host Kate Bolduan, defending the controversial policies.

Kirby told Bolduan that it would be “very difficult” to envisage President Joe Biden supporting legislation that would impede Americans’ ability to serve in uniform with dignity. However, he did not entirely discount the possibility of the president signing the bill.

READ MORE: NDAA could address Pentagon’s ‘revolving door’

Bolduan’s questioning brought to light the dilemma currently facing the Biden administration. She questioned whether vetoing the bill would result in declining much-needed pay raises for the military and future investments in military infrastructure.

Kirby indicated the decision will be left to federal legislators, adding that Biden would not support amendments or legislation that would put troops or readiness “at risk.”

“DoD’s strategic advantage in a complex global security environment is the diverse and dynamic talent pool from which we draw,” the White House statement of administration policy said in response to the bill earlier this week. “We rely on diverse perspectives, experiences, and skillsets to remain a global leader, deter war, and keep our nation secure.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.