Credit:Gage Skidmore

Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie Clash Over Military Transgender Funding

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) have been thick as thieves throughout their Congressional tenure, but find themselves more frequently at odds during the Trump era. Their most recent disagreement stems from a failed amendment to the 2018 NDAA that would have banned the funding of transgendered surgeries by the military.

“Still in disbelief that Congress passed a defense authorization (NDAA) earlier today that funds sex changes for members of the military, as well as $43 billion for our 17th year of the war in Afghanistan. I voted no,” Massie wrote in a Facebook post after the NDAA passed but the amendment to block military transgender funding failed.

After Amash had previously referred to headlines indicating that he had voted to authorize military transgender funding as “fake news,” he was asked about Massie’s remarks. Amash responded that he felt his long-time colleague was missing the mark in his assessment.

“He is wrong here,” Amash wrote on Facebook in response to Massie. “The NDAA does not fund sex changes; it doesn’t say anything about transgender persons.”

Amash’s carefully worded response is very telling, as he did not specifically refer to the amendment in question. The amendment, proposed by Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), was rejected by Amash, moderate Republican legislators, and every Democratic House member. It 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.”

“Military service is a privilege — not a right — predicated on the singular goal of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind. High entry and retention standards are required because failure in the job costs lives. Last year’s transgender decision is costly in dollars and short on common sense,” Hartzler said.

Close allies throughout the Obama era, Massie and Amash have been far less congruent under President Trump’s leadership. Amash has led the charge with Democrats and moderate Republicans to investigate Russian collusion accusations, while Massie has sided with conservative lawmakers dismissing the allegations as a partisan witch-hunt. Amash also voted affirmatively on the American Health Care Act, while Massie stood strong against it, even when faced with intense pressure from the White House.


  1. There is no military application apparent for gender reassignment in the military. Thus, the government should not be paying for it. Military members earn pay and can choose to pay for it themselves if so desired, and is not a detriment to their volunteered service.

  2. I have to say…I am very disappointed with Issa and Amash!
    I thought these two were above doing something like this!

    It’s time “we The People” do our duty and “Drain The Swamp” of these RiNO’s in the next GOP Primary! Replacing these anti-American Republicans with Constitutional Conservatives/Federalists!!!

  3. I came up with a middle ground where we ban the procedure for enlisted members and limit it to people who left after ten years or more of honorable service. The more stuff we subsidize via health insurance the higher the costs will be for all.

  4. The plug should be pulled on the funding for this. If someone wants to ruin there body by changing from man to woman or vise versa then that person should be responsible for every last cent!

    • The House version of the AHCA, while not repeal, is the best we’re probably going to get. It has an escape clause that lets states opt out of Ocare more or less, and therefore it is logical to support it. Massie holding out does not make much sense.

  5. The real scandal here isn’t the piddling money spent on trans issues it’s the ongoing aimless pointless war in Afghanistan. On this point Massie is totally right! Wrap it up!

  6. Amash has been slowly selling out over the past few years, it started with his vote for Paul Ryan, voted against Kate’s law, now this. Amash is wrong, not Massie.

  7. Amash has become a left-libertarian more worried about LGBTQ, racism, sexism, than actual freedom. The libertarian movement is splitting into the Jeffrey Tucker virtue signalling wing and the more traditional wing, but the latter is joining the alt-right.

  8. Response from Justin when I asked him,

    ” Rudy, that headline is fake news. Sec. Mattis and the White House oppose the amendment. They are working on a policy and want an opportunity to craft it. The underlying bill says nothing about transgender individuals, and voting no on the amendment expends no money. I think it’s reasonable to support the Trump administration’s position under the circumstances. The highest ranking member of the Armed Forces in the House, Rep. Jack Bergman, also voted no.”

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