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The House is considering the NDAA this week, legislation that sets U.S. defense policy for the coming year.

The House’s bumpy NDAA ride

The House is considering the annual National Defense Authorization Act this week, legislation that sets U.S. defense policy for the coming year.

This is a grueling process for lawmakers and leadership, and it’s filled with lots of tripwires. To wit: House lawmakers have submitted more than 1,000 amendments to the NDAA. You can see the full list here.

Don’t worry. There won’t be 1,000 amendment votes. Most of these won’t be made in order. Some will be or already have been withdrawn. Some will be voted on en bloc. But the Rules Committee will make a limited number of these amendments in order, which could give the GOP leadership a bumpy week.

The House Republican leadership is in the midst of going through the amendments to figure out what they will put on the floor and what they’ll try to avoid.

For example, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) submitted amendments that would bar any Pentagon money from being spent in Ukraine, eliminate funding for NATO and authorize funding for troops at the U.S.-Mexico border.

There are numerous amendments addressing the war in Ukraine. Rep. Tom Kean (R-N.J.) is leading several Republicans and Democrats on an amendment that “states that it is the policy of the United States to lift restrictions on Ukraine’s ability to strike legitimate targets inside Russia with U.S.-provided weapons, and to encourage U.S. allies and partners to lift similar restrictions on weapons they provide to Ukraine.”

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) has a bipartisan amendment that renews the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.

There are also a handful of amendments dealing with Israel that, if made in order, could give heartburn to some Democrats.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) has an amendment that would ban the Pentagon from doing business with entities that are boycotting Israel.

There are a bunch of culture war amendments also.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) and a group of GOP lawmakers have an amendment that bars the Pentagon from “paying for or reimbursing expenses relating to abortion services.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) has an amendment that would prevent TRICARE from “furnishing gender transition surgeries and gender hormone treatments for individuals that identify as transgender.”

Of course, there’s a chance that some of these controversial amendments will get adopted. But there is no chance that any of this language will make it through the Senate.

A similar scenario played out last year when the conferenced NDAA excluded nearly all of the House GOP-led poison pill amendments.

In the Senate: The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin its marathon NDAA markup on Wednesday. Aides tell us it could last into Friday.

Of course, the Democratic-led committee will almost certainly reject any GOP poison pill amendments. But it could very well approve a significant increase in the topline figure.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the panel’s top Republican, is making a huge push this year to boost the annual defense bill total to an unprecedented $1 trillion authorization. The Senate committee counts several Democratic hawks as members, so it’s not out of the question that this could get approved.

— Jake Sherman and Andrew Desiderio

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