President Joe Biden’s promise to veto two spending bills this week has sparked controversy among conservatives. The bills in question are the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Biden’s decision to veto these bills is based on various culture war battles, including contentious issues such as abortion policy, “gender affirming care,” and the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes.
In the administration’s statement of policy on the bills, Biden expressed concerns about the inclusion of partisan policy provisions that could have far-reaching consequences. He believes these provisions could harm access to reproductive healthcare, threaten the health and safety of LGBTQI+ Americans, jeopardize marriage equality, hinder critical climate change initiatives, and impede diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
One specific point of contention in the military spending bill is its potential impact on women in the military seeking abortions in states with restrictive laws. Additionally, the bill seeks to prevent the use of Veterans Affairs funds for hormone therapies or surgical procedures related to gender transitions. The administration views these provisions as harmful and restrictive.
The other bill facing a potential veto includes provisions that could affect food stamp programs and the FDA’s approval of an over-the-counter abortion pill distribution through the mail. However, the Biden administration’s opposition extends to measures preventing the banning of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as well as efforts to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes.
Conservatives see Biden’s veto threat as emblematic of the administration’s disregard for conservative values and its willingness to prioritize progressive policy objectives over bipartisan cooperation. They argue that the bills contain essential provisions for the military and agriculture sectors, and their rejection could lead to unnecessary hardships for veterans and farmers.
Lawmakers will have to vote on these bills this week, as they are the first of 12 appropriations bills that need to pass through the House before the government’s funding runs out on October 1st. Conservatives are closely watching these developments, hoping that the Biden administration will reconsider its stance and work towards a more balanced and bipartisan approach to governance.