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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on Sunday that women in the military should take leave if they are looking to get an abortion and are stationed where it is banned, following passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House.
“It shouldn’t be taxpayer funds giving them three weeks of paid, uncharged leave and then also paying for travel and lodging and meal. Something that we don’t even give our troops when they have a parent die or a sibling die, or a beloved grandparent dies,” Cotton told Fox News’s Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.”
One of the conservative amendments that was included in the House-approved version of NDAA restricts travel expense reimbursements for service members who seek an abortion. The must-pass defense policy bill passed with a largely bipartisan 219-210 vote in the House.
“What the House has done is taken reasonable steps supported by a large majority of Americans to ensure that we’re funding our troops and the weapons they need to keep our country safe,” Cotton said on Sunday. “Not paying for … [t]hings that should not be happening in our military.”
The bill now heads to the Senate, where top Democrats who control the chamber are likely to strip the amendments.
“It is rich to hear these Democrats complaining about a partisan defense bill because this happened when Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker as well. We worked it out. We worked it out every year for over 60 years to pass the defense bill. But it’s Joe Biden and Lloyd Austin, the Democrats who are politicizing the military,” Cotton said on Fox, referring to the president and Defense secretary, respectively.