Liberty-minded Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Justin Amash (R-MI) have hit an impasse when it comes to military transgender funding. Massie is up-in-arms over Congress’ decision to reject an amendment to the 2018 NDAA proposed by Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) to ban military transgender funding while Amash is standing by his controversial vote against the amendment.
“I voted to reverse Obama’s policy of allowing the military to pay for sex changes for soldiers. I’m shocked and disappointed that this amendment failed,” Massie wrote in a post on his Congressional Facebook page.
“The sponsor of the legislation says that paying for sex changes in the military could cost over $1 billion in the next several years,” Massie wrote. “It’s my understanding that even private insurance does not pay for sex changes, so why should the military?”
Hartzler’s amendment read as follows:
“Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code.”
Furthermore, Massie posted the roll call for the vote so that onlookers could see which Republicans dropped the ball by refusing to pass this amendment. That list, of course, includes Amash, who initially called media reports of his vote to be “fake news.” This morning, Amash turned to Facebook to give a detailed explanation for why he voted down Hartzler’s amendment.
“Given the facts, circumstances, and eminently reasonable request from the Trump administration, it was not a difficult decision to vote no on this amendment… With respect to transgender persons, we should focus on the best science, not the political or philosophical opinions of partisans,” Amash wrote.
Amash claimed to be the victim of an “astonishing level of misinformation and disinformation” over the amendment. If Amash’s words are to be believed, one of the main perpetrators of this alleged disinformation campaign is his long-time colleague, Massie.
“Military will pay for a sex change but won’t pay for certain procedures to help injured and disabled veterans conceive? I was told the same thing by a paralyzed veteran (paraplegic) in my district,” Massie said in disgust while responding to a supporter’s comment on Facebook.
IMO stuff about Liberty are fab who agrees?
Massie: Tax dollars shouldn’t go to anything that an individual is responsible for in their social life.
Amash: Pay these stuff with tax money cause freedom. Derp.
Amash is done. He’s nothing.
Justin Amash is a LINO.
That’s not at all what Amash said in any way.
Jason Southwell, here’s how his facebook response went:
There’s an astonishing level of misinformation and disinformation about a certain amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, so I want to provide some clarity.
On July 13, the House voted on an amendment offered by Rep. Hartzler. The amendment says that “[f]unds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care” under the military health system.
My staff and I carefully reviewed this amendment, as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding it, and I concluded that the right thing to do was to vote no. Consider the following:
1. The NDAA says nothing about transgender persons or their medical treatment. These subjects are not addressed in the bill. Voting no on an amendment cannot add these subjects to the bill. Most Republicans were happy to vote for the bill before they knew the Hartzler Amendment existed, and they were happy to vote for the bill after the Hartzler Amendment was rejected.
2. The Department of Defense (DoD) adopted a policy in 2016 regarding medical treatment for transgender persons. This policy allows treatment only when it’s “medically necessary,” and the Trump administration has continued the policy. Sec. of Defense Mattis delayed until January 1, 2018, a portion of the policy—related to the further enlistment of transgender persons—that had not yet gone into effect when Pres. Trump took office.
3. Sec. Mattis and the White House contacted Congress to urge us not to adopt the Hartzler Amendment to the NDAA. They are reviewing the entire policy and want an opportunity to present a new policy before Congress weighs in. As a retired general, Sec. Mattis knows a lot more than most members of Congress about how to build a strong and ready force.
4. The NDAA is an authorization bill for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2017. Sec. Mattis is expected to present a new policy, if at all, by January 1, 2018. In other words, the Trump administration is asking for only three additional months under the current policy.
So, let’s summarize: The NDAA says nothing about transgender persons. The Trump administration can keep or change the current policy at its discretion. Sec. Mattis and the White House urged us not to adopt the Hartzler Amendment. And all the administration wants is three months to review everything.
Given the facts, circumstances, and eminently reasonable request from the Trump administration, it was not a difficult decision to vote no on this amendment. After Sec. Mattis announces the DoD’s finalized policy, we can discuss the policy with him, evaluate it, and seek changes if necessary.
Those who serve in our Armed Forces deserve the best medical care. One question we must ask and answer, with the aid of the medical community, is which treatments are medically necessary and which are simply elective. With respect to transgender persons, we should focus on the best science, not the political or philosophical opinions of partisans.
Finally, service in all aspects of our Armed Forces cannot be guaranteed to everyone. The job of our Armed Forces is to defend our country, and the DoD should be given more leeway than other parts of the executive branch with respect to personnel decisions.
Careful GregPrice, they delete Amash comments on these threads.
Jason Southwell the few libertarian leaning politicians there are should get all the help they can! amash isn’t perfect but he’s a hell of a lot better than 98% of congress! personally, i think he muffed this vote.
Amash is a joke, his yes vote also supported more spending on the continuous war as well as funding mental disorders.
He’s not a Liberty candidate anymore!
i see he also voted against kate’s law? something stinks in michigan.
Yup, he started with a vote for Paul Ryan and he’s made some real shit decisions ever since.
I’m not sure about that far but this was for the SJW’s and it was the wrong choice 100%.
Pierce Cogburn it’s far more than this most recent vote. He’s been very lackluster since his vote for Paul Ryan. He tries to justify it with some obscure constitutional law BS.
I have to say I never truly cared for him, met him a few times in MI but he always rubbed me the wrong way. So when he started slipping on the true Liberty bandwagon
I wasn’t really surprised.
Amash is the best thing going in Congress. He was the only Rep with the sense to vote against ‘Kate’s Law’, which is another idiotic tough on crime piece of legislation as poorly thought out as any other legislation named after someone.
Amash is, officially, a meme.
Adam Hamdan Damn even Amash is now off the freedom train? It seems every politician now gets their time to get shitted on.
It’s easy to be right when it comes to obvious economic things, but he is just flopping on everything else lately. Shilling for the deep state type boy
They twisted his arm on a vote, his anger and revenge for it have overpowered his reason.
Amash’s FB post makes a very strong case that he voted correctly. As is so often the case, conservatives are outraged over a lot of nothing.