An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been proposed in an attempt to reverse the military transgender ban recently put into motion via imbecilic busywork of knee-jerk POTUS tweets.
Senator Susan Collins (R ME) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D NY) introduced the amendment on Monday, and it “would prevent the military from kicking out transgender service members solely based on their gender identity.”
The NDAA—“a massive defense policy bill”—will be on the Senate floor this week; the senators hope to get a vote on the proposed amendment. However, many other proposed amendments to the NDAA have stacked up, and it is possible their reversing measure could be ignored.
So far it is unclear if the amendment has enough votes to pass, although Trump’s ban has sparked ire on both sides of the aisle. A previous version of the proposal focused on forcing the Pentagon to continue payments for transgender medical procedures. The senators crafted a pared-down second version in order to drum up Republican votes.
Fastidious Senator Collins has proved to be a strong-willed, sane contrast to her brownnose Trumper colleagues. Gillibrand was more of a Blue Dog when she served in the House, but has become more progressive as a senator, as evidenced when she successfully advocated for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
After the Obama administration opened up military recruitment to transgender individuals in 2016, Defense Secretary James Mattis began a study of the impact of the policy change. Mattis was still conducting the study when Trump announced the ban. Mattis had stated in June 2017 that he needed six more months to finish the study.
Firebrand Senator John McCain will lead the NDAA Senate debate this week. When Trump tweeted this mess last month, McCain stated the military ban would be “a step in the wrong direction,” and the Mattis study should be completed before new policy decisions were made.