House Retains Funding for Gender Transitions

“[Obama’s] transgender decision is costly in dollars and short on common sense.”  — Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

Prior to voting on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on several proposed amendments to the core bill. One of those was “H.Amdt. 183 (Hartzler) to H.R. 2810: To prohibit funds for medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, U.S. code.”, proposed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

Rep. Hartzler argued,

Bradley/Chelsea Manning

“The Obama transgender policy, which was implemented without input from members of Congress, is ill-conceived and contrary to our goals of increasing troop readiness and investing defense dollars into addressing budget shortfalls of the past. By recruiting and allowing transgender individuals to serve in our military we are subjecting taxpayers to high medical costs including up to $130,000 per transition surgery, lifetime hormone treatments, and additional surgeries to address the high percentage of individuals who experience complications.”

Note that the arguments for Amdt. 183 are based on concerns for both budget shortfalls and military readiness — very much practically-oriented.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, protested,

“It would have a negative impact on morale, a negative impact on retention, and move us away from the merit-based system which we now have, where we have one set of rules applied to everybody.”

Hartzler countered:

“The deployability of individuals going through the sex transition process is highly problematic, requiring 210 to 238 work days where a soldier is non-deployable after surgery. This recovery time equates to 1.4 million manpower days where transgender personnel cannot deploy and fight our nation’s wars, therefore relying on an already stressed force to pick up the burden. It makes no sense to purposely recruit individuals who cannot serve.”

Unfortunately, imo, 24 Republicans broke ranks to vote with the Democrats, defeating the proposal 209-214.

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