September 15, 2017

Palm Center Statement on Bipartisan Support for Senate Bill to Block Trump’s Transgender Ban

Bipartisan Support for Stand-Alone Bill is “Remarkable”

SAN FRANCISCO, CAPalm Center Director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to today’s introduction of a stand-alone bill to prevent President Trump from banning transgender troops. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), follows yesterday’s refusal by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow a vote on a similar measure. Sens. McCain and Reed are Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In addition to Sens. McCain and Collins, GOP leaders who have expressed support for transgender troops include Senators Murkowski, Hatch, Portman, Ernst, Tillis, Heller, Johnson, Toomey, Gardner, Shelby and Sullivan:

“In an era when the two parties can barely agree on anything, bipartisan support for transgender troops is remarkable. Bipartisan support for the troops stands in sharp contrast to GOP leadership, which yesterday declined to allow Congress to halt President Trump’s transgender ban. Today’s stand-alone bill gives Congress another chance to protect the military’s proud record in which service members, once welcomed and deemed fit to serve, are not cast aside for political reasons. Senators from both parties understand that treating every service member the same promotes readiness, and that banning honorably-serving Americans would be disruptive and wasteful, with an estimated cost of almost $1 billion to recruit and train replacements.”