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House Republicans Fail to Jam Anti-Trans Amendment Into Defense Spending Bill

15 July 2017

Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union said the Hartzler Amendment is meant to discriminate against transgender members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by barring them from receiving medically necessary health care.

"Military service is a privilege, not a right", Hartzler said in June. "This amendment is not about defense", he said.

In a statement Thursday, Pelosi said the "disgusting" attempt to restrict funds from being used to provide gender transition treatments is "unprecedented, unacceptable and undermines our national security". 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.

Hartzler has claimed allowing transgender people into the military saddles taxpayers with medical costs of up to $3.5 billion. To prepare for "transgender inclusion", the Army is reportedly instructing women soldiers to accept sharing public showers, restrooms and barracks with gender-confused "transgenders", including men who call themselves "women" yet still possess their inborn male genitalia intact.

The House also shot down an amendment aimed at getting the Pentagon out of having to submit a report to Congress detailing the impact of climate change on the armed forces.

Efforts to strip away transgender medical rights in the USA military by a Republican have failed.

Just under an hour later, the House of Representatives narrowly voted down Hartzler's proposal 214-209, to audible cheers from the House floor.

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He continued: "If this is not the case, if Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions". Lavrov went on to say that Moscow is now working on reciprocal measures, but refused to provide any details.

Rep. Hartzler's new amendment - which prohibits the Department of Defense from providing medical treatment for transition-related services - was given the green light by House Republican leadership late Wednesday.

According to the Williams Institute, there are an estimated 15,500 actively serving transgender members of the USA military.

"Make no mistake, the effect and the intent of this unjust and mean-spirited amendment is to ban patriotic Americans from serving our country", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN. This would have impacted active personnel who are transgender, as well as the transgender dependents of servicemembers. Hartzler's initial amendment would have rolled back the Obama-era policy allowing transgender service members to serve openly, which she said she was withdrawing until Mattis decided how he was going to address the policy.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who's gay and co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, offered an amendment during committee to strike the anti-trans measure from the rule, but his effort was defeated by an 8-2 party-line vote.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said before the vote Thursday there is no study showing a $3.5 billion cost.

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.

The RAND Corporation a year ago found all medical costs for transgender service members would be about $2.4 million to $8.4 million annually.

House Republicans Fail to Jam Anti-Trans Amendment Into Defense Spending Bill