House and Senate conferees filed the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act late Wednesday. They stripped many of the “culture war” provisions added by the House, which has disappointed some conservative Republicans but makes it more likely the bill will easily pass before Congress leaves town at the end of next week.
“Through months of hard-fought and productive negotiations, we have crafted a bipartisan and bicameral conference report that strengthens our national security and supports our service members,” the four leaders of the Armed Services committees said in a joint statement. “We urge Congress to pass the NDAA quickly and President Biden to sign it when it reaches his desk.”
The conference report does not put an end to the Pentagon’s abortion access policy and does not restrict TRICARE coverage of certain health care procedures for transgender individuals.
The final bill does contain language to scale back the Pentagon’s efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion. It also requires DOD to study health conditions arising in service members who received the COVID-19 vaccine and to consider reinstating those involuntarily separated after refusing the vaccine.
DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase