Representative Nancy Mace voted to use the defense budget to limit abortion access, despite previously branding the amendment as an “asshole move.”
Republicans have packed the new NDAA with amendments targeting some of their favorite culture wars, including banning the military from funding diversity, equity, and inclusion programs; banning Pride flags; and barring the Department of Defense from reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to travel for an abortion.
Mace has repeatedly urged her party to take a more centrist stance on abortion, warning that the GOP’s extreme restrictions on the procedure could cost them elections. But she has yet to take her own advice, and Thursday night was no exception.
“We should not be taking this vote, man. Fuck,” she told her staff in an elevator in reference to the anti-abortion amendment, Politico reported. “It’s an asshole move, an asshole amendment.”
Hours later, though, she fell in line with her party and voted to include the amendment in the defense budget.
But Mace tried to have it both ways, telling Politico, “I’m all for having these conversations and debates, but doing so as part of a bill which could jeopardize our national security is wrong. Traditionally the NDAA is bipartisan legislation. This year’s bill could be historically partisan.”
The amendment will definitely alienate House Democrats, whose support is needed to pass the bill. The change is also unlikely to survive the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Mace’s vote is a clear sign of how desperate Republican leadership is to crack down on abortion access. But it’s an even clearer sign of how untrustworthy Mace is.
The South Carolina representative has repeatedly urged her party to move towards the center, and not just on abortion. She talks a good talk, but she has yet to actually walk the walk. If anything, she walks just as far to the right as the colleagues she has been warning.