SPONSORED:

House passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban

House passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban
© Getty Images

The House voted Tuesday night to block the Pentagon from using funding to implement its ban on most transgender troops.

The 243-183 vote came as an amendment to a $1 trillion spending package that includes the fiscal 2020 defense spending bill.

“The president and his administration wrongfully argue that it’s about military readiness and unit cohesion, but these arguments were the same ones that were used to keep the military racially segregated,” Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownLawmakers move to oust extremists from military Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE (D-Md.) said on the House floor. “Transgender service members increase lethality, readiness. They have served honorably and received prestigious commendations.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nine Republicans voted in support of the measure: Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashRepublicans eye primaries in impeachment vote Michigan GOP lawmaker says he's 'strongly considering' impeachment Newly sworn in Republican House member after Capitol riot: 'I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.' MORE (Mich.), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartBottom line Three years later, father of Parkland shooting victim calls for meaningful school safety reform House GOP campaign arm rolls out new leadership team MORE (Fla.), Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerHouse panel spars over GameStop frenzy, trading apps The Hill's Morning Report - Biden on COVID-19: Next year Americans will be 'better off' NRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized MORE (Minn.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDCCC releases Spanish-language ads hitting GOP on QAnon On The Money: Biden signals he'll move forward on COVID-19 relief without GOP | Economy adds 49K jobs in January | Minimum wage push sparks Democratic divisions New Democratic super PAC to target swing-district Republicans over vote to overturn election MORE (Pa.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB Republicans rally to keep Cheney in power Here are the GOP lawmakers censured by Republicans for impeaching Trump MORE (Ohio), Trey HollingsworthJoseph (Trey) Albert HollingsworthHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump campaign tweet of Biden clip as manipulated media | Democrats demand in-person election security briefings resume | Proposed rules to protect power grid raise concerns Lawmakers call for bipartisan push to support scientific research The Hill's 12:30 Report: Presidential race tightens in key states MORE (Ind.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdSunday shows - COVID-19 dominates as grim milestone approaches Former Texas GOP rep: Trump should hold very little or no role in Republican Party Former Rep. Will Hurd announces book deal MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHouse GOP warns Biden against lifting sanctions on Iran House Republican calls on Biden to boycott Beijing Olympics Hearings examine consequences of massive SolarWinds breach MORE (N.Y.) and Tom ReedTom ReedCuomo faces rising scrutiny over COVID-19 nursing home deaths Bipartisan lawmakers call for immediate vote on COVID-19 vaccine distribution package NY Republicans want Justice Department to subpoena Cuomo over nursing homes MORE (Ill.).

One Democrat, Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump admin to sell oil leases at Arctic wildlife refuge before Biden takes office |Trump administration approves controversial oil testing method in Gulf of Mexico | Rep. Scott wins House Agriculture Committee gavel Rep. David Scott wins House Agriculture Committee gavel MORE (Minn.), voted against the amendment.

The House previously voted in March to condemn the Trump administration’s transgender troops policy. At that time, five Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the measure.

The Pentagon’s policy, which took effect in April, bans most transgender people from serving in the military unless they serve in their biological sex or were grandfathered in under the 2016 open-service policy.

The Trump administration and its allies deny the policy is a ban because of the carve-outs.

“This amendment risks undermining the readiness of our military at a time when we can least afford it,” Rep. Ken CalvertKenneth (Ken) Stanton CalvertMORE (R-Calif.) said on the floor. “This current policy is not, I repeat, not a ban on service by transgender individuals. It carefully balances the readiness needs of the military with the medical needs of transgender individuals who wish to serve.”

Opponents argue the policy effectively is a ban akin to the defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that banned gay, lesbian and bisexual troops from serving openly.

Four lawsuits against the policy are still pending.

The March resolution against the policy was nonbinding, whereas Tuesday’s amendment would have an effect if it were to become law.

But the amendment is unlikely to become law. Still, LGBT advocates were tracking the House vote as sending a message.

"Military leaders don’t want this ban and the American people don’t want this ban -- including a growing percentage of the president’s own party," Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement Wednesday. "We won’t stop fighting in the courts to end the ban for good, and we applaud members of Congress for continuing to fight for our transgender service members as well.”

House Democrats are also expected to bring a transgender troops amendment to the floor when they debate the annual defense policy bill in the coming weeks.

Updated at 9:24 a.m. Wednesday