Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of
Missouri has introduced an amendment that seeks to prohibit the
Department of Defense from providing transition-related health care
to transgender troops.
According to The
Hill, Hartzler's amendment would cut off funds for treatments
such as hormone therapy and gender reassignment. Transgender troops
would still have access to mental health treatment.
The amendment is part of the defense
authorization bill for 2018. The House Rules Committee could vote on
amendments to the $697 billion bill as early as this week.
Late last month, Hartzler criticized an
Obama-era policy that allows transgender troops to serve openly. She
proposed, then withdrew, an amendment barring transgender individuals
from serving in the military. She said that she changed course
because she wanted to give the Pentagon “an opportunity to address
this problem internally.”
Shortly afterwards, the Pentagon
delayed by six months its plan to allow openly transgender people to
enlist. That policy was scheduled to take effect on July 1.
delays transgender-inclusive recruitment policy.)
Hartzler defended her position,
suggesting that transgender individuals would be a burden on the
military's health system.
“Currently, we refuse entrance into
the armed forces for lesser physical issues, such as flat feet,
bunions, asthma and sleep walking. … [Y]et accession standards are
set to be modified to allow transgender individuals into a military
where they will be unable to fully serve. This is a senseless and
highly unfair double standard,” Hartzler is quoted as saying by USA