WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) appeared on CNN This Morning to discuss the MAGA Republican hijacking of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2024 (NDAA). Whip Clark reaffirmed Democrats' commitment to national security and defending reproductive freedom. Below are excerpts from her interview:

On GOP's hostage-taking of the NDAA:

“Let's look at how unprecedented this situation is. We had the national defense bill that came out of committee just a few weeks ago with a nearly unanimous vote. A bipartisan bill, as is the tradition in Congress. And we have the GOP who said we are going to scrap that bipartisan bill, put a big ‘You Are Not Welcome’ sign out in front of our military bases to women, people of color, LGBTQ, and create a bill that is extreme.

“There has been an unprecedented response from Democrats where we have the Ranking Member, Adam Smith, saying he will now oppose this bill. We have Democrats who have never voted against a national defense bill who will not be voting for this bill because it has been taken hostage by the extremists in the GOP.”

On Democrats’ continued support of American servicemembers:

“This is work that Democrats did: making sure that our military families have the housing they deserve, taking away a co-payment for contraception. These are Democratic priorities and issues.

“So it is very difficult to vote against those – to vote against this bill. That is not easy. But what we've seen is this bill has been transformed into an extremist manifesto. And so, we're going to continue, as we have done when we were in the majority – putting the American people first and what they need. And what they need is a strong military.

“And we know that this bill is going nowhere in the Senate because it is disgusting and outrageous. So, we will have a chance to work with the Senate and bring a national security bill back that we can support.”

On Republicans’ continued assault on freedom:

“This is another step in their march towards a national abortion ban ... The message here is outrageous to women servicemembers. They're saying: 'You are not allowed to travel for the health care that you need while you are serving our country, defending liberty.'

“And that's why we've seen this issue be so wildly unpopular with the American people in election after election and poll after poll: because the American people understand this is fundamentally taking away their liberty. This is an assault on freedom –  and they did not just stop with abortion. They went right down the line saying that diversity is not a strength, but a weakness. The American people don't agree with that. 

“I mean, I really cannot overstate how divisive and how racist and misogynist this bill has become, as we have seen Speaker McCarthy capitulate once again to the extreme elements of his party.”

To watch the complete interview, click HERE.

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