Will lame-duck Congress protect religious liberty for the military?


Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee adopted a religious liberty amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a federal law that specifies the budget and expenditures for the Defense Department. The Russell Amendment to the NDAA–named after its author, Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK)–reaffirmed religious liberty protections that have existed for decades, but have been under fire since Obama issued Executive Order 13672. His EO effectively prohibits chaplains in the military from using vendors that align with their religious beliefs when it comes to the LGBT agenda.

While the NDAA passed the House of Representatives, the rudderless GOP in the Senate, under the feckless command of Mitch McConnell–“Captain Cockroach” as I like to call him–failed to include the Russell Amendment in their version of the bill. By the way, I call McConnell “Captain Cockroach” because, like the American cockroach, he is an invertebrate who can be found feasting on rotting corpses (the party establishment), and he lives his life hiding in the sewers (DC politics).

Meanwhile, as election day crept ever closer, Mickey and Paul Ryan put politics ahead of country by cramming a pro-Obama agenda continuing resolution down America’s throat, temporarily funding the government until after the election. Hey! Priorities, right? Congress will take up the budget again during the lame-duck session; bad news for Conservatives because, historically, these sessions are a boondoggle for liberal causes due to the reality that members no longer have to defend their actions to their constituents.

It’s unlikely that we will see this trend change in the upcoming lame-duck session. During his 2014 re-election campaign, McConnell promised to use the budget to tie Obama’s hands on issues important to Conservatives by adding riders to spending legislation; forcing the president to sign them or face the consequences of defunding–shutting down–effected departments. After his re-election, and with a GOP majority, McConnell exposed himself as the liar we’ve come to know when he took the power of the purse off the table.

Considering McConnell’s cowardess and extensive track record when it comes to financing the budget priorities of the left–such as: Obamacare, amnesty for illegals, and Planned Parenthood funding–and his refusal to use the budget as leverage, I expect him to kill the Russell Amendment when the time comes. I hope I’m wrong, but with the recent news of a letter from 42 Senate Democrats to the House Committee demanding removal of the amendment, it doesn’t look good.

In the meantime, I’m asking my fellow Conservatives to take a stand against the Gay Mafia and the LGBT agenda by demanding the religious-liberty rights of chaplains (and others) serving in the military. Between now and election day, let your Senators and Representatives know that you fully expect them to support the Russell Amendment, and to include it when they pass the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.


Don't Feed The RINOsDavid Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.