WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kansas 3rd District Democrat Congresswoman Sharice Davids this week voted against funding the U.S. military for the coming year, apparently because the defense funding bill also prohibited the U.S. Defense Department from using tax dollars to pay for military personnel abortions and sex changes.
The $886.3 billion bill was a $28 billion increase over 2023 and passed the House on a near party line vote, with four Republicans voting against and four Democrats voting in favor. The National Defense Authorization Act sets policy and funding for the Defense Department and passed 219-210. It now goes to the Senate for debate. Kansas’ remaining congress members Jake LaTurner, Ron Estes and Tracey Mann all voted in favor.
In a statement, Davids termed the bill an example of partisan politics and a “far-right, anti-abortion agenda” from House Republicans that sought to “hold support for our military hostage.”
In addition to de-authorizing military healthcare coverage from paying for sex reassignment surgeries, hormone replacement and abortions, the bill also eliminated the Pentagon’s office of “diversity, equity and inclusion” and its staff. A separate amendment that bars a defense department agency which operated the DOD’s educational training centers from buying books that contain pornography or those that endorse radical gender ideology was also attached to the bill.
A dependable House vote in favor of abortion, laws giving preference to gender dysphoric individuals over the general population and virtually every other legislative initiative undertaken by the Biden Administration, Davids has maintained a voting record in sync with liberals in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and in contrast to conservative majorities in her other district counties of Miami, Franklin and Anderson. The only Democrat in Congress elected from Kansas, she’s frequently the sole Kansas delegation vote in favor of Biden priorities.
Although Davids makes few personal appearances in the conservative areas in her district, she and third party funders have recently engaged an email and direct mail campaign to promote her candidacy in those areas. Davids defeated Republican challengers in the past three elections and runs for office again in 2024.
– Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kan.