A group of House Republicans are working behind the scenes to revive a ban that would bar the Pentagon from funding gender reassignment surgeries for troops, Politico reported. Several GOP defense hawks and conservatives are urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to implement a procedural trick that would automatically include the controversial proposal in a spending package expected to hit the floor for consideration next week.
If that plan fails, the group hopes that he will give them a second opportunity at passing the amendment on the floor.
"Steps must be taken to address this misuse of our precious defense dollars," Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), the author of the proposal, said in a statement. "This policy hurts our military's readiness and will take over a billion dollars from the Department of Defense's budget. This is still an important issue that needs to be addressed.”
The measure faces staunch opposition from Democrats and moderate conservatives, who teamed up last week to vote against Hartzler's policy.
The proposal would end an Obama-era policy that permitted the Defense Department to fund gender reassignment surgeries and treatments for active-duty personnel. Hopes for a revived ban comes nearly a year after the Obama administration lifted its ban on transgender service members.
Earlier in the month, the Pentagon announced it would delay the lifting of the ban on active transgender personnel in order to determine if the progressive policy would affect the "readiness or lethality" of the force. As a result, officials have until Jan. 1, 2018 to defer accessing transgender applicants into the military.