Twenty-four Republicans banded together on Thursday to defeat an amendment which would have ended former President Barack Obama’s 2016 policy of funding “gender-reassignment” surgery for soldiers who want to live as members of the opposite sex.
The amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was offered by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R, Mo.). It would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for the non-military medical task of converting healthy soldiers into “transgender” soldiers who face lifelong dependence on hormones and surgery.
The July 13 vote saw Democrats vote in lockstep to defeat the amendment, despite the national unpopularity of the transgender ideology. They were joined by 24 Republicans who broke with their party to assist the Democrats to defeat the amendment, without any visible objections by the GOP’s business-focused leadership.
The offer of free medical care to gender-confused soldiers is part of the broader effort by Obama to have the Pentagon affirm and implement the transgender ideology, which says that people can have a “gender” different from their biological sex. The ideology also says that a person’s legal sex is defined by their self-assessed gender — not by their biology — and that other Americans must agree with people who say they are a member of the opposite sex.
Many Republicans praised the Hartzler amendment and criticized the Obama transgender policy. “It makes no sense to create soldiers who are unable to fight and win our nation’s wars,” Hartzler said during debate on the bill, according to the Associated Press.