The House of Representatives voted down a Republican proposal to ban the Pentagon from paying for gender-transition surgeries after 24 GOP congressmen crossed party lines to join the Democratic side.
Republican Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler's proposal to restrict funding for transgender members of the military was shut down in a close 209-214 vote on the the House floor Thursday after 24 GOP members sided with Democrats. Former President Barack Obama initiated the social policy changes that the Pentagon enacted in 2015.
"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," Hartzler said in a statement. "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."
These are the 24 Republicans who voted against the legislation that would have removed funding for transgender military members' medical costs:
- California Rep. Paul Cook
- California Rep. Jeff Denham
- California Rep. Steve Knight
- California Rep. Darrell Issa
- Colorado Rep Mike Coffman
- Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo
- Florida Rep. Lena Ros-Lehtinen
- Florida Rep. Brian Mast
- Michigan Rep. Justin Amash
- Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman
- New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance
- New Jersey Rep. Frank Lobiondo
- New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur
- New York Rep. John Faso
- New York Rep. Elise Stefanik
- New York Rep. Tom Reed
- New York Rep. John Katko
- New York Rep. Claudia Tenney
- Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello
- Pennsylvania Rep. Charles Dent
- Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster
- Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
- Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock
- Washington Rep. David Reichert
"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," Hartzler said. "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."
Hartzler's efforts to force a vote on the amendment were thwarted by her own party.
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