‘Disgusting’: Republicans fume over Pentagon plan to pay for troops’ abortion travel A bill that would have required taxpayer money to pay for abortions at military hospitals was defeated Wednesday.
DURING BATTLE over the Pentagon’s proposed cuts, conservative lawmakers said they wanted the Obama administration to reverse its position that abortion funding was not part of mandatory military health care.
In a letter Thursday to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, House Republican leaders and a group of conservative lawmakers announced it was time for the Pentagon to “refocus its entire effort” to address the Defense Department’s mandatory health care spending.
“The President now has one year to address the crisis Congress created by reducing mandatory Pentagon health care by nearly $500 billion — an arbitrary and unworkable target that would have devastated military readiness and lethality,” the letter said.
The letter noted that the Defense Department — which has no explicit authority to fund abortions — plans to cut $5.7 billion in mandatory health care spending by ending the controversial requirement that soldiers can’t be discharged for missing appointments.
“The Obama administration’s continued resistance to military’s interest in a robust health care system for the men and women who serve is no more than an excuse for Congress to do the impossible and cut military medical programs,” the letter said. “We are concerned that these cuts will jeopardize military readiness and lethality, particularly for overseas deployments.”
The letter, signed by House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), was written by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a co-chair of the conservative House Caucus on Research and Education.
Hunter and Thornberry also co-wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Carter last week calling on him to “redirect some of the $1.3 trillion in mandatory military spending to reduce the amount DOD spends on the abortion racket.”
“Now that the war drums have been beat, we expect you to hear these and other conservative views on mandatory health care,” Thornberry and