Congress spent the last “military spending” debate rehashing the culture wars — not the nearly $1 trillion Pentagon budget itself.

by Jyotsna Naidu, Otherwords

If there’s one thing that should be subject to rigorous debate and the will of the people, it’s decisions about war and peace. Unfortunately, that’s not what we got with the huge military policy bill recently passed by the House and Senate.

Somehow, the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA — which can bring war or peace, and which now costs nearly $1 trillion — never sees much serious debate in Congress about those issues.

Before this year, the NDAA passed easily for 61 years straight. The process is intentionally rushed. Hundreds of amendments are filed and voted at once, leaving little room for serious discourse.

the pentagon building seen from overhead

This year was a partial exception. Lawmakers did debate the bill, which passed the House only narrowly. But they debated all the wrong things.

Representatives provoked hate with countless culture war amendments. Ignoring issues of war and peace, far-right members of Congress debated cutting funding for service members’ abortions and diversity programs on military bases.

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