Politics Gillibrand, Collins unveil plan to block transgender ban

00:50  12 september  2017
00:50  12 september  2017 Source:   CNN

Two senators aim to challenge Trump’s transgender troops order in defense bill

  Two senators aim to challenge Trump’s transgender troops order in defense bill The planned amendment will have to wait though, as another senator is holding up the defense bill until he is guaranteed a vote on an authorization for military force.Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that she is drafting the amendment with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to “try to protect the transgender troops” against the order that Trump initially issued via Twitter in July banning them from the military.

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Neither Gillibrand nor Collins ’ office responded to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on their plan for an amendment against Trump’s transgender military ban . Screaming Eagles unveils pride-themed, limited-run apparel line by Joey DiGuglielmo | posted on September 8, 2017.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat (left) and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican.© Getty Images Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat (left) and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican.

A bipartisan pair of senators introduced an amendment Monday to try to reverse President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

The amendment from New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins would prevent the military from kicking out transgender service members solely based on their gender identity, according to a copy of the language obtained by CNN.

The senators will try to get a vote on their proposal during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, the massive defense policy bill that's on the Senate floor this week. It's still unclear whether the measure will get a vote, as it's one of scores of proposed amendments to the defense bill.

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"To all trans men and women serving bravely in the military: I plan to introduce legislation to fight back. Gillibrand was still working to write the new transgender bill, and the details are still being hashed out, according to a congressional aide.

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Trump declared that he was reinstating the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military on Twitter in July, which the Obama administration had ended in 2016.

But in the directive issued a month later, Trump stated that he would block any new recruits from joining while giving Defense Secretary James Mattis time to study the issue about what to do with transgender people serving openly in the military.

The directive called for Mattis to set up a panel of experts to study the issue and report back early next year.

Trump's call for banning transgender service members sparked criticism from Democrats and some Republicans, though it's not yet clear if the measure from Gillibrand and Collins can garner the 60 votes it likely will need to pass.

Senators eye defense bill as a way to challenge Trump’s foreign policy

  Senators eye defense bill as a way to challenge Trump’s foreign policy <p>Rank-and-file senators are eyeing the annual defense bill the Senate will take up this week as a chance to challenge President Trump’s recent controversial moves on national security — but thus far, Republican leaders have resisted their efforts.</p>Senators of both parties are drafting amendments that would step up sanctions against North Korea, roll back Trump’s order to ban transgender troops from the military and force Congress to vote within six months on a replacement authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, against extremist groups.

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The amendment is the second the pair introduced on the transgender ban, and the new version is more narrow than the first, in what is likely an effort to try to attract more Republican support. The initial proposal also would have blocked the Pentagon from ending payments for the cost of transgender medical procedures.

The new amendment also directs Mattis to focus his study on the issue of new recruits, something he was in the process of considering when Trump announced his ban.

The Obama administration set up a process for the Pentagon to begin taking in new transgender recruits, and in June Mattis had said he needed six more months to study the impact of the move.

Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is currently battling brain cancer, will lead debate on the NDAA on the Senate floor this week.

McCain said in a statement last month it would be "a step in the wrong direction" to discharge transgender individuals solely on the basis of gender identity, and the Pentagon should complete its study first before any decisions are made about new recruits.

Eric Ebron, Landon Collins engage in war of words following Monday Night Football .
Following Monday night’s game, the Detroit Lions and New York Giants are done with each other in 2017. But Lions tight end Eric Ebron and Giants safety Landon Collins are maintaining a rivalry. Following the game, Ebron had some complimentary words for Collins’ performance. But when he was asked why he didn’t celebrate after catching a touchdown pass, Ebron had some words for Collins that were far from complimentary.“I was pissed off,” Ebron said, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News. “I was pissed off at that little punk of a safety they’ve got over there.

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