The United States House of Representatives voted on an amendment on Tuesday (18 June) to block Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.
With a 243-183 vote, the amendment passed the Democratic-controlled chamber of Congress. It is part of a $1 trillion spending bill that now faces a Senate vote and Trump’s signature.
The amendment effectively prohibits Trump’s ban from remaining in effect by blocking the Pentagon from using funds to implement the ban.
The vote largely happened along party lines, with nine Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to vote in favor of the amendment.
‘With so much anger and so much hate in the world today, it is time to be kind to people,’ said Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN).
Republicans, however, mostly opposed the amendment and argued against it as a ‘risk’.
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) stated blocking the ban ‘risks undermining the readiness of our military at a time when we can least afford it’.
During the debate, each side took firm stances. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), who previously served in the army, directly called out Calvert’s argument.
‘The President and his administration wrongfully argue that it’s about military readiness and unit cohesion, but these arguments are the same ones that were made to keep the military racially segregated,’ Brown said.
‘My service in an integrated armed forces did not harm readiness, and neither does the service of the more than 14,000 transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.’
What happens now with the ban?
The ban went into effect in April, and is already disrupting the lives of military personnel. Some authorities are refusing to enforce it, while some individuals are facing risks to their futures because of it.
This debate is ongoing, despite a majority of Americans supporting transgender troops.
With a Republican-controlled Senate, however, it’s possible this amendment will never see a vote in that chamber. If it did, it would then face a possible veto from President Trump.
The House has voted before against the ban, but a Republican Senate and White House prevent any Democratic legislation getting through.