SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to today's introduction of a stand-alone bill to prevent President Trump from banning transgender troops. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Senators John McCain ( R-AZ ), Jack Reed ( D-RI ), Susan Collins ( R-ME ) and Kirsten Gillibrand ( D-NY ), follows yesterday's refusal by Senator Mitch McConnell ( R-KY ) to allow a vote on a similar measure. Sens. McCain and Reed are Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In addition to Sens. McCain and Collins, GOP leaders who have expressed support for transgender troops include Senators Murkowski, Hatch, Portman, Ernst, Tillis, Heller, Johnson, Toomey, Gardner, Shelby and Sullivan:
"In an era when the two parties can barely agree on anything, bipartisan support for transgender troops is remarkable. Bipartisan support for the troops stands in sharp contrast to GOP leadership, which yesterday declined to allow Congress to halt President Trump's transgender ban. Today's stand-alone bill gives Congress another chance to protect the military's proud record in which service members, once welcomed and deemed fit to serve, are not cast aside for political reasons. Senators from both parties understand that treating every service member the same promotes readiness, and that banning honorably-serving Americans would be disruptive and wasteful, with an estimated cost of almost $1 billion to recruit and train replacements."
About The Palm Center
The Palm Center is an independent research institute committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. Our research has been published in leading social science journals and extensively consulted and cited by US military leaders. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for scholars, policymakers, journalists, opinion leaders, students and the public at large. For more information, visit us at www.palmcenter.org .