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Retired General Challenges GOP’s Pro-Military Image Amid Funding Debate

As the House GOP remains divided over efforts to fund the government through the next fiscal year, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is challenging Republicans’ traditional assertion as the pro-military political party.

Republicans Halt Vote on Defense Funding Bill

Five Republican lawmakers on Tuesday halted a vote on their party’s own bill, joining all Democrats in the House to sink legislation that would fund the Department of Defense (DoD). The appropriations bill was the first of several that the chamber needs to pass by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown.

Conservative Members Reject the Measure

Those who opposed the bill include some of the more conservative members of the House, such as North Carolina Representative Dan Bishop. Bishop stated that he rejected the measure because Congress has not “moved twelve appropriations bills at the spending level agreed to in January.” Some moderate Republicans who are consistent supporters of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy condemned their GOP colleagues for striking down the bill.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is pictured speaking on the military’s strategy to thwart Al-Qaeda, on December 19, 2007. Hertling on Tuesday condemned Republicans who struck down a bill designed to solidify funding for the Pentagon.

General Hertling Criticizes Republicans

General Hertling has been vocal in his criticism of conservative GOP members who attack the armed forces over being impacted by “woke” Democratic policies. In February, he expressed his disgust with the Republican-backed “Ukraine Fatigue” bill, which aimed to end U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Recently, Hertling condemned Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville for protesting the DoD’s policies on abortion access, a stance that has hindered the confirmation of over 300 military promotions by the Senate.

The GOP’s Internal Divisions

The Republican Party has been grappling with internal divisions on various issues, including support for Ukraine. Leaders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump have questioned the importance of assisting Kyiv in its fight against Russia. The party’s internal bickering poses a significant hurdle for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, with some far-right members, such as Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, calling for his ousting due to perceived insufficient conservatism. McCarthy, however, has affirmed that he will not step down in response to these threats.

The Funding Debate’s Implications

The ongoing funding debate has significant implications for the Department of Defense and the military community. Without a resolution, the DoD may face challenges in planning and executing its operations. The inability to pass crucial funding bills also raises questions about the Republican Party’s commitment to supporting the military.


In the midst of the House GOP’s internal divisions over government funding, General Mark Hertling highlights the inconsistency between the Republican Party’s claim of being pro-military and their actions. By challenging conservative members who criticize the armed forces and opposing bills that provide vital funding for the Department of Defense, Hertling shines a light on the party’s divisive stance. As the funding debate continues, the implications for the military remain uncertain, and it remains to be seen how the Republican Party will address these internal conflicts.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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