The U.S. House voted Thursday to approve an amendment introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to defund President Trump’s transgender military ban as part of major defense spending legislation.
Lawmakers approved the amendment by voice vote as part of a block of amendments the House Rules Committee approved for consideration during debate over the fiscal year 2012 defense appropriations bill.
Jennifer Dane, executive director of the Modern Military Association of America, said in a statement after vote undoing the transgender ban would foster an inclusive military.
“As our nation faces seemingly unprecedented challenges, it’s crucially important that the military return to an inclusive policy that allows any qualified patriot to serve,” Dane said. “With this vote, the U.S. House of Representatives just sent a powerful message that bigotry and discrimination should have no place in our armed forces. We urge the full Congress to ensure this critically important amendment is passed.”
The vote comes nearly three years after President Trump tweeted out the policy on July 26, 2017, saying he’d bar transgender people from serving from the military “in any capacity.” Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said he’d reverse the ban upon his election and allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.
Asked this week by the Washington Blade whether he’d reconsider the transgender military ban, Trump claimed he couldn’t hear the question. The White House has subsequently the Trump administration has no plans to change the policy.
The vote marks the third time the House under Democratic control has voted against the transgender military ban. The chamber also approved a resolution introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) against the policy and a Speier amendment to the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill that would reverse the ban, although that language didn’t make it into final package approved by Congress.