ICYMI: President Donald Trump announced this morning that he plans to bar transgender people from serving in the United States military. In a series of tweets, Trump cited medical costs as the reasoning for his bigoted bill.
We all know Trump's claims of inflated medical costs are bullshit—and so do Washington State’s Democratic congressional representatives. Their Republican colleagues were mum on the matter.
In a statement, Representative Pramila Jayapal condemned Trump's declaration and said the ban "creates a second class of citizens." She also called out her Republican colleagues for "doing nothing to stop the president as he tries to shred the Constitution, tweet by tweet."
An estimated 15,000 transgender men and women serve in the U.S. Military today. Instead of honoring them, the president has demeaned their sacrifice. Sixty-nine years ago on this day, President Harry Truman took the historic step of desegregating the military and advancing the cause of equality. Today, President Trump – who hasn’t served a day in the military – is taking us back.
Rep. Adam Smith called Trump's ban "unwarranted and disgraceful" and said the president's claims "have no basis in fact, and appear to be cooked up by right-wing advocacy organizations whose real interest is not to support military readiness but to further discrimination."
From his statement:
To prevent transgender people from joining the military and to push out those who have devoted their lives to this country would be ugly and discriminatory in the extreme...
The cost of all hormone therapy for transgender individuals serving in the military since 2012 has been a grand total of $297,000, and there is no indication that the thousands of transgender people currently serving in the military have negatively impacted readiness.
It takes a brave and committed person to volunteer to defend this country, and every American that is able and willing to do so should be allowed to join the U.S. military. We will fight this decision, just like we fought ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and ultimately justice will prevail.
Washington's other congressional representatives weighed in on Twitter, the only medium Trump appears to understand:
Anyone who puts on a uniform to defend our freedoms deserves our country’s support and whole-hearted respect. Period.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) July 26, 2017
Transgender servicemembers are honorable & patriotic. Discrimination in any form is unacceptable. We must defeat this discriminatory policy.
— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) July 26, 2017
Mean-spirited, short-sighted, morally repugnant and undermining to service to the US. And which generals belong to the President? https://t.co/yJxG9WbwkN
— Rep. Rick Larsen (@RepRickLarsen) July 26, 2017
Pres.Trump is attacking 15,000 brave transgender servicemembers to distract from taking health care away from millions. Ruthless & wrong.
— Denny Heck (@RepDennyHeck) July 26, 2017
Reps. Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, and Jaime Herrera Beutler have not yet made public statements regarding the ban. Representatives for the Congress members did not immediately respond to requests for comment.