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Posted on Jul 13, 2017 Print this Article

Issue 46: July 2017

Rep. Vicky Hartzler Moves to Cut Off Funds for Military
Transgender Treatments

Hartzler Defense Bill Amendment Up for a Vote Today


Will Congress Vote for Mission Readiness First?

On June 28, during the House Armed Services Committee marathon mark-up of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA), Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) led a spirited debate raising questions about Obama Administration plans to recruit transgenders in the military.  She was joined by Representatives Steven Russell (R-OK), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

Congresswoman Hartzler reserved the right to offer an NDAA amendment later in the process if she was not satisfied that the Defense Department was paying sufficient attention to negative impacts of transgender policies on readiness.   Her amendment deserves enthusiastic support.

In 2016 the Obama Administration set July 1, 2017, as a deadline for full implementation of plans to recruit persons claiming to be "stable" in transgender status for 18 months.  Once admitted, persons suffering from a psychological condition called "gender dysphoria" would be eligible for expensive hormone and/or surgical treatments for life.

As CMR explained in this article, Mrs. Hartzler's leadership may have influenced Secretary of Defense James Mattis' announcement of a last-minute six-month delay in those plans.

The pause was welcome but less than adequate. According to the AP and USA Today, the Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps initially had asked for two-year delays to determine prospective costs and consequences of transgender mandates.  In addition, Mattis' holding action will not stop auto-pilot implementation of all transgender mandates by January 1, 2018.

Enter Congresswoman Hartzler, who will introduce a floor amendment to the NDAA, which would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for "gender-re-assignment surgery and hormone therapy within the military's Tricare system." Congresswoman Hartzler's 2-page summary provides partial details of the amendment she will offer for a floor vote today:

DoD Transgender Policy Implications on Cost and Readiness

Support the Hartzler Amendment to H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act

Under principles of civilian control of the military enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, members of Congress should support Congresswoman Hartzler’s amendment to "Prioritize readiness and preserve precious taxpayer dollars."

In essence, the Hartzler amendment says that because transgender policies are unsound, ignore reality, and run counter to principles of combat effectiveness, unit cohesion, and wise use of limited resources, Congress will not authorize funds to implement those policies.  In this important national defense matter, Congress should exercise its power of the purse.

CMR has analyzed specific Department of Defense and military service transgender policies that Congress needs to examine in the course of diligent oversight:

CMR Special Report: Department of Defense & Military Services Should Revoke Problematic Transgender Policy Directives and Instructions, July 2017

Executive Summary

As the movement to stop political correctness in the military has gained support, several new articles, in addition to those linked in the CMR article above, have focused on the need to reverse Obama-era policies:

This eye-opening article exposes the consequences of extending new DoD subsidies for surgical treatments to military dependents, including vulnerable minor children too young to give informed consent to irreversible treatments.  (According to Associated Press, this is a primary goal of transgender activist groups.)

The previous administration relied on low-ball estimates of costs and consequences of transgender policies provided by various LGBT activists.  According to official documents, the same groups helped to write implementation plans, and are in line to influence and benefit from transgender policies.

Actual defense-dollar costs, plus additional un-calculated items such as legal defense against inevitable litigation from grown-up children or their parents, probably would far exceed expenditures already calculated independently.

Congress has the right – and the responsibility – to prevent unnecessary spending on social experiments that harm readiness instead of improving it.

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The Center for Military Readiness, founded in 1993, is an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) public policy organization that reports on and analyzes military/social issues.  Nothing in this article should be construed as an endorsement of any candidate or legislation. More information on all issues discussed is available on the CMR website,

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 Print this Article