Rep. Justin Amash said a request from Pentagon chief James Mattis prompted his vote to preserve former President Barack Obama’s pro-transgender policies in the military.
In a July 16 Facebook post explaining his unpopular July 13 vote, Amash wrote:
On July 13, the House voted on an amendment offered by Rep. Hartzler. The amendment says that “[f]unds 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” under the military health system … [Defense] Sec. [James] Mattis and the White House urged us not to adopt Hartzler Amendment [and] all the administration wants is three months to review everything.
So far, administration and Pentagon officials have not confirmed Amash’s claim of their opposition to the Hartzler amendment. However, on June 30, Matt ordered a six-month suspension of Obama’s rules, which were about to invite transsexuals to join the military from July 1. The suspension will give Mattis — and new appointees — until January 2018 to decide if the military will endorse the transgender ideology.
In contrast, Mattis ordered a six-month suspension of Obama’s rules on June 30, which were about to invite transsexuals to join the military from July 1. The suspension will give Mattis — and new appointees — until January 2018 to decide if the military will endorse Obama’s pro-transgender ideology.
The Obama policy endorses the transgender ideology by validating and accepting recruits who believe their “gender” is different from their male or female body, and by also offering transsexuals free lifetime medical care — such as debilitating hormones and expensive surgery, despite the loss of military readiness. The new rules also enforce transgender demands by ordering servicemen and servicewomen to offer “dignity and respect” to transsexuals in their shower rooms and in their shared sleep spaces, while also telling transsexuals that they “are not required or expected to modify or adjust their behavior based on the fact that they do not ‘match’ other Soldiers.”
Hartzler’s amendment rejected the ideology of the transgender movement by prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for the non-military medical task of converting physically healthy soldiers into transsexuals who face lifelong dependence on hormones and surgery.
Freshman Florida GOP Rep. Brian Mast — who voted for Hartzler amendment after first miscasting his vote — said the Pentagon should not divert funds from military readiness to cosmetic medical services. Mast, a veteran, told Breitbart:
I don’t think the military should be paying for any elective surgery, whether it be for transgender surgery or cosmetic surgery. Everything we look for in Defense Department spending has to make the warfighter better off and safer on the battlefield. No question, this [transgender policy] doesn’t.
I’ve been on the battlefield … I have [veteran] friends who can’t get oxygen treatment, who can’t get the things they need for their spine, or can’t get the best wheelchairs or body armor… This is going to be where we should be spending our money. That should make sense to everybody.
During the floor debate, Mast added, “I certainly heard on the House floor [legislators saying] that General Mattis requested that this amendment be pulled from the floor and that he is going to work the issue.” However, that story has not been confirmed by the administration, he added.
Amash’s Facebook statement suggested that the public’s pressure may cause him to flip flop on his vote. After first justifying his vote, Amash ended his post by echoing Mast’s comments about the need to prioritize medical spending and to focus on combat effectiveness:
Given the facts, circumstances, and eminently reasonable request from the Trump administration, it was not a difficult decision to vote no on this amendment. After Sec. Mattis announces the DoD’s finalized policy, we can discuss the policy with him, evaluate it, and seek changes if necessary.
Those who serve in our Armed Forces deserve the best medical care. One question we must ask and answer, with the aid of the medical community, is which treatments are medically necessary and which are simply elective. With respect to transgender persons, we should focus on the best science, not the political or philosophical opinions of partisans.
Finally, service in all aspects of our Armed Forces cannot be guaranteed to everyone. The job of our Armed Forces is to defend our country, and the DoD should be given more leeway than other parts of the executive branch with respect to personnel decisions.
However, if Mattis decides to continue Obama’s pro-transgender policies in December, then Democrats, liberal Republicans, and the established media will likely deter the GOP leadership from pushing for corrective reforms.
According to critics, Obama’s pro-transgender policies may cost the military up to $3.7 billion over the next ten years if the number of transsexual people in the military matches the high claims by transgender activists.
So far, the military’s most famous transsexual soldier is Private Bradley Manning, who copied and released 90,000 military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. He was released from jail in early 2017 after Obama reduced his jail sentence. Manning has since changed his name to Chelsea Manning.
The transgender ideology says that a person’s legal sex should be determined by their self-declared “gender identity,” not by their male or female body. The ideology also says the federal government should force Americans to accept the “gender identity” claims made by each person, regardless of scientific data about genetics, biology and the variety of normal behavior and appearances shown by normal equal-and-complementary women and men.
Polls show that strong majority of ordinary Americans oppose the progressive claim that unverifiable “gender” is more important than a person’s sex. Polls also show that Americans want sexual privacy in bathrooms and shower rooms and especially in K-12 schools. Also, the polls show that most Americans want to be polite and helpful to the very few transsexual people who wish to live as members of the other sex. According to one study of the 2010 census, the population of transgender people amounts to one in every 2,400 Americans, or 0.03 percent of the adult population.
The fight over the Pentagon’s policy is important because a Pentagon approval of the pro-transgender ideology would help transgender activists pressure judges and swing-voting legislators to impose the transgender rules on Americans’ civic groups, such as schools, universities, and workplaces.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their two-sexes, male and female, civic society around the idea of “gender” has already attacked and cracked popular social rules for how Americans handle the many social preferences of equal, different and complementary men and women, boys and girls. For example, the gender claims shifted rules or practices about different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.