Republican Rep. Pushes Mattis To Repeal Transgender Policy

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler proposed an amendment last week to the annual defense authorization bill that would roll back the Pentagon’s transgender enlistment policy.

Last Friday, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the Pentagon would postpone the enlistment policy of transgender recruits into the armed forced for six months. The policy was slated to take effect Saturday.

“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,” said Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This delay is indicative of a policy that was rushed and never clearly thought out, and I am pleased that Secretary Mattis has decided to delay the accession policy. It is my hope that he will move forward with full repeal in the coming months,” added Hartzler.

Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued a de facto moratorium on dismissals of transgender troops back in August of 2015 and ended the ban on transgender service members serving in the military in June 2016.

According to Hartzler’s office, she offered the amendment during the committee markup of the defense authorization bill and later withdrew the amendment to allow the Defense Department to handle the issue internally. Doing so also allows her to take the amendment the floor of the House later in July.

“This policy is costly and a threat to our readiness and needs to be repealed. Military service is a privilege — not a right — predicated on the singular goal of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind. High entry and retention standards are required because failure in the job costs lives. The Obama transgender policy is costly in dollars and short on common sense,” Hartzler said.

“I urge Secretary Mattis to move forward with full repeal.”

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