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Mattis Tried To Kill Plan To Bar Transgender Surgery For Troops

Mattis Tried To Kill Plan To Bar Transgender Surgery For Troops

The House Rules Committee met Wednesday night to consider amendments to the defense bill.

"It makes no sense to create soldiers who are unable to fight and win our nation's wars", Hartzler said.

Just two weeks ago, Hartzler failed in an attempt to ban transgender service members from the military during the NDAA markup before the House Armed Services Committee.

Missouri GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler filed an amendment to the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which successfully moved through the Rules Committee.

Sarah McBride, spokesperson for the LGBT lobby group Human Rights Campaign, reported, "If only three Members of Congress had voted yes instead [i.e., FOR the measure denying taxpayer funding to the Pentagon for transsexual "sex reassignment surgeries"], this risky and discriminatory anti-transgender amendment would have passed". Now that the stay has gone into effect, certain lawmakers are questioning the inclusion of any transgender service members, some going as far as to advocate for rolling back the 2016 policy that allowed trans people to serve openly in the first place.

But Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., rejected that argument and suggested that military volunteers, "Figure out whether you're a man or a woman before you join".

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Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system. "U.S. taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill". Mattis stated that "this action in no way presupposes the outcome of the review" and does not change the policies now in effect, including the policy of allowing those now enlisted to serve openly as transgender.

Democrats, including California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, were harsh in their criticism of the bill, calling it a "mean-spirited" and "unjust" attempt to discourage transgender people from serving in the military. However, transgender people are not now allowed to join the military. That was supposed to begin July 1, 2017 but Defense Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay of that implementation, which many anti-LGBTQ conservatives saw as a sign that they could still prevent it from happening.

"I think it's important that we work closely with the DOD on this", he said, referencing the DoD review.

"We'll see what happens with the Hartzler amendment", Ryan continued. Given that the military budget for fiscal year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) is more than 824 billion, that means that trans-related health care would likely cost the military a fraction of a percent of their total assets. Ashley Broadway-Mach, president of the American Military Partner Association, called the proposal a "vicious attack on service members who are sacrificing so much and putting their lives on the line for our country". 'It is imperative that the House of Representatives reject this harmful amendment'. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said the requirement puts an unnecessary demand on the military at a time when it should be concentrating on defeating the Islamic State group and countering other serious threats.

"No one in the Pentagon has called for this", Maloney said.

"Drip by drip we have watched our military's focus eroded", Perry said.

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