President Trump supposedly decided to ban transgender military troops because he wanted to protect funding for the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The decision that POTUS tweeted out this morning was allegedly a way to resolve a dispute among House Republicans over taxpayer funding for sex-reassignment surgery in the armed forces that might have blocked an entire spending bill from passing.
One of Trump’s key campaign promises in election 2016 was a vow to build a security wall with a big beautiful door, as he described it, at the southern border to prevent illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. The wall may also include solar panels. He also vowed that Mexico will pay for it, but that payment may come in the form of reimbursement.
While Democrats have opposed virtually the entire Trump populist agenda, many Republicans have also been less than supportive, which explains, for example, the failure so far by the U.S. Senate to repeal Obamacare. First-time candidate Trump was a former Democrat and independent before running for president on the GOP ticket.
A wide-ranging spending bill pending in the U.S. House contained, among other things, cash for border wall construction, but according to Politico, 24 moderate Republicans joined with Democrats several weeks ago to vote down an amendment that would have eliminated gender reassignment treatments for active duty personnel. That could have been a deal-breaker.
“Numerous House conservatives and defense hawks this week had threatened to derail their own legislation if it did not include a prohibition on Pentagon funding for gender reassignment surgeries, which they deem a waste of taxpayer money. But GOP leaders were caught in a pinch between those demands and moderate Republicans who felt the proposal was blatantly discriminatory.”
The conservative contingent reportedly called upon to the president to end the impasse, resulting in the sweeping announcement that the U.S. armed forces would no longer accept or allow transgender individuals to serve. Citing tremendous medical costs as one factor, Trump says he reached this decision after consulting with generals and other military experts.
This controversy might also lead to a reassessment of other medical benefits provided to military personnel, such as Viagra.
Although the announcement prompted much outrage, the Inquisitr previously noted that this decision reinstates a policy that had been in effect throughout the Obama administration and before, up until last year. It remains to be seen how the Trump administration will address those transgender individuals currently serving.
In June, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired Marine general, gave the military branches an additional six months to study the potential effect of further transgender recruitment on readiness, The Guardian detailed. There are an estimated 2,500 to 7,500 transgender individuals on active duty, and approximately 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves. Trump’s decision evidently short-circuits that study.
Trump intended to scale back the Obama transgender policy promulgated in 2016 anyway, but perhaps not this abruptly, Politico claimed. “But a behind-the-scenes GOP brawl threatening to tank a Pentagon funding increase and wall construction hastened Trump’s decision.”
The transgender ban constitutes something of a double whammy for the social justice cohort, which also opposes the border wall. A legal challenge seems likely.
Separately, President Trump announced this afternoon in a White House ceremony that electronics manufacturer Foxconn, the Taiwan-headquartered company that makes iPhones and other devices in China, will build a massive, $10 billion, product assembly factory in Wisconsin that will employ 3,000 workers to start.
“The project could reshape the economy of southeastern Wisconsin and involve not just a large factory but a virtual village, with housing, stores and service businesses — spread over at least 1,000 acres, according to Gov. Scott Walker’s office and a source familiar with the deal,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explained. Foxconn has a controversial reputation in China, but the Foxconn facility in Wisconsin will obviously have to abide by U.S. labor laws.
Assuming the report is accurate, do you think that it is appropriate for President Trump to prioritize the border wall over sex-reassignment surgery for service members?
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]