POLITICS: White House

Mike Lee and Ted Cruz challenge Obama with new military religious freedom amendments

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Two military religious freedom amendments proposed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas  are challenging the Obama administration after they objected to a similar Amendment proposed in the House.

The White House Office of Management and Budget last week criticized a military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, proposed in the House by Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

Fleming's Amendment passed 33-26 in the House Armed Services Committee on June 5.

The OMB warned that Fleming’s amendment would cause a “significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment” if passed.

In response, Cruz and Lee have offered two of their own amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act calling for the strengthening of religious liberty laws and calling for the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate reports of military members suffering discrimination for expressing their religion.

Both amendments passed the Senate Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“The religious liberties of our men and women in uniform deserve strong protections,” said Lee in a statement reacting to the committee’s vote. “The amendment ensures the rights of servicemen and women to practice and share their faith and puts in place strong oversight to guarantee their rights of conscience.”

Ted Cruz also praised the votes in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“No soldier should fear a court martial for expressing his or her faith or made to fear negative reprisals for reporting threats to their freedom to worship God,” he said. “The men and women of the military risk their lives every day to protect our Constitutional rights, and they should not be forced to surrender their religious liberty to do so.”

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