July 29, 2020

Palm Center Statement on Pending House Measure Barring Funds to Implement Transgender Military Ban

Rep. Speier (D-CA) Amendment Proceeds to Full House for Vote This Week

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today, the United States House of Representatives approved the Rule for consideration of the FY21 Defense Appropriations Act.  The Rule defines which amendments the House will consider as they take up the underlying bill, funding Department of Defense operations in the next fiscal year.  Among the amendments approved for debate in the Rule is amendment #66 offered by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), which would prevent DoD from using any funds to implement the transgender military ban. The amendment will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this week.

“The Department of Defense should not be spending taxpayer money on a politically motivated policy that keeps qualified people out of the military, particularly when the military continues to face enlistment shortfalls,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center. “The House’s immediate passage of Rep. Speier’s amendment would send the fiscally responsible message that we should be spending money on protecting Americans, not on baseless policies enacted to score political points.”

Last week, on the three-year anniversary of President Trump’s tweets announcing that transgender troops would be banned from the military, the Palm Center released a policy memo explaining that the ban can be easily reversed in under thirty days. The memo was authored by retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, the former Surgeon General equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard, and it provides a regulatory roadmap of the precise steps needed to immediately restore transgender military service.