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.