But it wasn’t only Democrats voting ‘No.’ Staunch GOP conservatives from the state, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, and U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, also voted against a higher defense budget, a pay raise for the troops, and more.
Greene complained the defense bill was ‘more concerned with funding a Green New Deal compliant military’ than it was in dealing with China and Russia.
In many ways, the defense policy bill has morphed into a Pentagon pork barrel measure, as lawmakers hail the money authorized for local military installations in their districts, happily rattling off the successes in their press releases.
“I’m pleased to see Congress come together to support the men and women who courageously serve in uniform,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Evans, who noted ‘vital funding’ — over $72 million — for the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon.
In the recent debate over a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, many Republicans like Allen belittled money that Democrats set aside for work on the nation’s electrical grid and green energy projects, arguing it was not real infrastructure.
But the defense bill includes plans for power generation and electrical grid projects at three Georgia military installations — giving the green light to $59 million in renewable energy infrastructure efforts at Fort Stewart, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, and Fort Benning.
Last year, the defense bill was approved only when both parties joined to override a Donald Trump veto.
No matter what else has gone on in 2021, bipartisanship on defense continues on Capitol Hill, where too often nothing gets done on major issues.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com