Murray blasts GOP measure on transgender athletes: 'Have a little bit of heart'

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-Wash.) on Saturday tore into a Republican amendment to block funding for schools that allow transgender athletes to participate in women’s sports, urging one of her GOP colleagues to "have a little bit of heart."

The Senate Health Committee chairwoman slammed the amendment from Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), a former college football coach, calling it “simply an attempt to discriminate against transgender students.”

“Can’t we just have a little bit of heart and compassion in this world for someone who doesn’t look or live exactly like you,” Murray said with exasperation after senators voted through the night on Republican messaging amendments to the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill.

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Murray argued the amendment undermined the goal of the bill to provide assistance to all educators and students who have struggled because of the pandemic.

“All students, including transgender students, benefit from participating in sports to challenge themselves, to improve fitness, to be part of a team,” she said.

Tuberville, who was the head football coach at Auburn and Texas Tech University, framed the debate as a Title IX issue, arguing it was needed to protect the integrity of women’s sports.

His amendment sought to block educational institutions from receiving funding if they allowed biological males to compete in women’s athletics.

He said it would ensure education funding goes to schools “focused on COVID supplies and recovery rather than pushing a liberal agenda."

The amendment failed on a vote of 49 to 50.

Centrist Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake MORE (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote for it while Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Alaska) voted no.

The amendment needed to garner 60 votes to overcome a budget point of order.