Both the White House and Secretary of Defense James Mattis reportedly asked Congress not to prohibit Pentagon funds from being used for gender transition treatments.
According to Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash, who voted against the amendment that would have blocked the Department of Defense from using funds on gender transition treatments, the White House and Mattis requested that Congress not support Missouri GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s amendment until the Trump administration presents a fully fleshed out transgender policy.
“As a retired general, Sec. Mattis knows a lot more than most members of Congress about how to build a strong and ready force,” Amash said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Amash was one of 24 Republicans who sided with Democrats to vote down the Hartzler amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by 209-214.
The text of the amendment stated that “funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care.”
Immediately, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted the amendment as a noxious proposal that is “unprecedented, unacceptable and undermines our national security.”
“Republicans should be ashamed: instead of protecting the men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms, they are fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This cowardly Republican amendment targeting transgender men and women in uniform effectively bans these patriotic Americans from serving their country.”
For Amash, the correct decision was to vote the amendment down because the rest of the annual defense budget bill doesn’t say anything about transgenders or medical treatment for transgenders. Moreover, Amash stated that the Trump administration has continued the policy of treatment for transgenders when deemed “medically necessary.”
“Given the facts, circumstances, and eminently reasonable request from the Trump administration, it was not a difficult decision to vote no on this amendment,” Amash said. “After Sec. Mattis announces the DoD’s finalized policy, we can discuss the policy with him, evaluate it, and seek changes if necessary.”