US House approves defense policy bill with divisive provision on abortion, transgender troops

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By Mike Stone and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House Of Representatives on Friday passed its version of the annual defense policy bill that included measures taking aim at abortion rights and treatment of transgender service members, divisive social issues which threaten to derail the must-pass legislation.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will now work with the House to form a compromise version of the fiscal 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

This year’s House version of the bill, an annual measure that sets policy for the Department of Defense, authorizes a record $895 billion in spending, a 1% increase over last year.

The sprawling legislation was approved in the House by a vote of 217-199, with six Democrats in support and three Republicans voting no.

Senate Democrats are unlikely to go along with the conservative social issue provisions inserted into the measure.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Caitlin Webber and Andrea Ricci)

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