House to consider banning transgender surgery for troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is set to consider a Republican-backed measure that would stop the Pentagon from paying for U.S. service members to undergo gender transition surgeries.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi decried the proposed amendment to the annual defense policy bill as mean-spirited and discriminatory.

The amendment’s author, Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, says she wants to ensure the military’s budget is spent on threats facing the country. Her measure bars money from being spent by the military’s health care system on gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly since last year, when the Pentagon ended a ban. A Rand Corp. study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active-duty military.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.