House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence published a blog post on Townhall Friday. "A Defense Bill Should Be About Defense -- Not Liberal Social Policies" hit the message hard. See the following excerpt:
Throughout my nearly nine years in Congress, I have been downrange with our troops every year in Afghanistan and Iraq. I also supported every defense authorization bill that came before the U.S. House of Representatives.
Therefore, it was with a heavy heart yesterday that I joined 130 of my House Republican colleagues in breaking that personal tradition and opposed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.
The reason? The Democrat majority cynically included hate crimes provisions in the bill that threaten the very freedoms of speech and religion that draw our soldiers into the uniform of this nation.
I find it unconscionable that we would erode the freedoms for which our soldiers wear the uniform in a bill that is designed to provide resources those soldiers need to get the job done and come home safe.
It is simply wrong to use a defense bill as a vehicle for divisive liberal social policies that are wholly unrelated to our country’s national security. By doing so, Democrats in the majority, with the assent of this administration, are piling liberal social priorities onto the backs of our soldiers.