Rep. Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota blasted the Pentagon for its increased politicization and weak leadership, as well as the House’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022.
Hagedorn voted against the NDAA, also known as H.R. 4350, for the inclusion of “extraneous provisions” and “superfluous measures” such as red-flag laws and expansions in the designation of federal land.
“The bill voted upon today is seriously flawed, so I voted ‘no,'” Hagedorn said in his statement. “Moving forward, the final conference report of the NDAA must be free of politicization and extraneous provisions. The NDAA should focus upon the military’s mission and include the necessary resources for our brave and hardworking military men and women.”
The NDAA passed the House in a bipartisan 316-113 vote. 181 Democrats and 135 Republicans voted in favor, while 38 Democrats and 75 Republicans voted against.
Other Minnesota Republicans who voted against the bill were Reps. Tom Emmer and Michelle Fischbach. Rep. Pete Stauber voted in favor.
Although Hagedorn said he supports the bill’s expansion of military resources, he argued that the Pentagon is in “dire need of new leadership and reform” due to its increased politicization and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.
“Neither President Biden nor any senior officials have been held accountable for the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Changes must take place given the massive failure that resulted in the loss of 13 service members, the abandonment of hundreds of Americans, and handing over billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to the Taliban,” he said.
There are numerous examples of the Pentagon’s increased politicization, though Hagedorn noted in particular an NDAA amendment that would require women ages 18-25 to register for the draft.
The amendment is titled “Modernization of the Selective Service System,” but Hagedorn and other conservative critics prefer to nickname it “Drafting our Daughters.”
“I support the patriotic women who volunteer for military service and respect their commitment and courage. But this shift in policy to involuntary registration is just the latest step in misusing the U.S. military for social experimentation,” he said.
For the Minnesota representative, rampant “social experimentation” and politicization of the U.S. military detracts from its primary objectives of national security and victory.
“When the Pentagon becomes increasingly politicized or we use the defense bill as a vehicle for other priorities, we lose that focus,” he said.