Republicans Consider Ban on Gender Transition Surgeries for Troops
15 July, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Archie Newman
After Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) pointed out the "bigotry" of the measure, Democrats gained support from 24 Republican representatives, resulting in a 214-209 vote against the bill.
Should the USA military pay for the gender reassignment surgery of transgender troops? Thousands of transgender people have served with honor and distinction in our military, including the more than 134,000 transgender veterans who are alive today. The congressman added that if people join the military and then transition to another gender while enlisted, "it will cost the government money, and taxpayers in the country are not going to foot the bill for it". "Let's make America great again".
Hartzler's proposal comes in the middle of renewed debate over transgender people serving in the military.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland challenged the idea that the push was about spending or military readiness. "It has one objective and one goal only: to politically denigrate some of our fellow citizens".
The four New York GOP House members who voted for the amendment were Reps.
Transgender troops deserve our respect and support.
"This amendment does not prevent anyone from joining the military or receiving standard medical care", Mrs. Hartzler said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gave a tepid appraisal of the Hartzler amendment ahead of the vote on Thursday, stopping short of a clear endorsement.
In June, Hartzler proposed a different amendment when the armed services committee marked up the defense authorization bill. Jared Polis of Colorado and Patrick McGovern of MA dissenting.
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Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer spoke out against the amendment.
"This is a discriminatory, unconstitutional attack on transgender service members and their families, plain and simple", the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a letter to Congress.
For Pelosi, integrating transgender service members, which includes providing funds for transition treatments, is the continuation of the successful effort to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in 2010. As it stands, transgender people who are already in the military may serve, but openly transgender recruits are barred from enlisting. That plan may now be pushed back until 2018. Transgender service members have risked their lives around the world, and the previous transgender military ban made them unable to be their authentic selves or seek the medical care they needed.
During committee discussion, Hartzler said that paying for gender reassignment surgery would cost $1.35 billion (€1.18 billion, £1.04 billion) over the next 10 years.
Today, HRC lambasted an anti-transgender amendment being offered by Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).
But former Defense Sec.
Hartzler reached for props in her closing comments ahead of the vote.
"This is about addressing [North] Korea, Russia, ISIS", Hartzler said, holding up pictures of each. "This is about addressing Russian Federation", she went on, as she flashed a photo of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
The proposal could go before House lawmakers early as Thursday, as the chamber considers the almost $700 billion defense spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year.
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