San Francisco, CA – Palm Center director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to the House Rules Committee’s decision to allow the House to consider an amendment prohibiting the Pentagon from using Department of Defense funds to implement President Trump’s transgender ban. The amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill is led by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), with cosponsors Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA). The House is expected to consider the amendment next week.
“Rep. Speier’s amendment would prevent the military from implementing this discriminatory ban and wasting taxpayer money firing and replacing fully qualified transgender troops. Research indicates that it costs far more money to fire and replace a service member than to provide medically necessary health care. The Defense Department spent only $3 million per year providing health care to transgender personnel before President Trump reinstated the ban, a figure military leadership has called mere “budget dust.” In wasting money and talent, the ban undermines readiness, and Rep. Speier’s amendment would put an end to that.”