Budzinski Votes Against Partisan National Defense Bill

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) joined 206 House Democrats and four House Republicans in voting against a hyper-partisan National Defense Authorization Act that would take away reproductive health care access from our nation’s servicemembers.  

“For decades, Congress has come together across the aisle to protect our national security and support our servicemembers. This year, House Republican leadership has made this critical national defense legislation the product of Washington’s partisanship and polarization,” said Congresswoman Budzinski.“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act that respects the rights of those who put their lives on the line in service to our country every single day.” 

This week, House Republican Leadership made the decision to allow hyper-partisan amendments to be added to the National Defense Authorization Act that disrespect our servicemembers and strip them of their essential freedoms — including access to reproductive health care. Budzinski will continue working with her Senate colleagues to pass a bipartisan version of the National Defense Authorization Act before the end of the year. 

Despite the inclusion of amendments taking away access to reproductive health care, Budzinski was encouraged to have four bipartisan amendments included in the House package. Budzinski joined Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12) to pass amendments supporting operations at Scott Air Force Base and drive domestic military-grade boot manufacturing, like the work done by Belleville Boots in St. Clair County. She will continue advocating for her amendments to be included in a final version of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

The bipartisan amendments introduced by Congresswoman Budzinski and Congressman Bost would support Scott Air Force Base and local defense manufacturing by:

  • Requiring the Secretary of the Air Force to examine and craft a repair plan for aging infrastructure used in air mobility operations at bases around the country, including Scott Air Force Base. This amendment ensures that critical national security infrastructure like runways, ramps and control towers are prioritized in receiving the repairs they need. 
  • Requiring the Secretary of Defense to examine the threats posed by flooding and other natural disasters to military installations and provide potential mitigation strategies. This amendment aims to increase the preparedness of our military installations for damaging weather phenomena, like the four major flooding events that have occurred in the last ten years at Scott Air Force Base. This amendment ensures that bases maintain operational readiness and safety as extreme weather occurs with more frequency.
  • Requiring the Secretary of Defense to examine the status of funding for the Child Development Center at Scott Air Force Base. This amendment aims to improve the financial health of the base’s Child Development Center, maintaining our commitment to educating and caring for the children of military families with the highest standards possible.
  • Requiring the Department of Defense to examine current military footwear regulations and provide recommendations on improvements to support the footwear needs of our troops. This amendment aims to support domestic military-grade boot manufacturing, like that done by Belleville Boots, a small business in St. Clair County that has manufactured military-grade boots for over 100 years. This amendment also ensures that military footwear complies with the standards that military members need as large companies increasingly move into military boot manufacturing.

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