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

Sen. Patty Murray (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.

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 Manchin (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote for it while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted no.

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

Tags covid-19 relief bill Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Patty Murray Tommy Tuberville transgender athletes

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