FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, Rep Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo. speaks in Sedalia, Mo. 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. Hartzler. the amendment’s autho 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. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

House refuses to ban transgender surgery for troops

July 14, 2017 - 3:11 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House has turned aside a measure that sought to strike an Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy.

Democrats cast the proposal as bigoted, unconstitutional and cowardly. They won support on Thursday from 24 GOP lawmakers to scuttle the amendment to the annual defense policy bill, 214-209.

Lawmakers are expected to vote Friday on passage of the sweeping legislation following more debate over amendments that are often aimed at addressing specific needs in lawmakers' districts.

The policy bill would authorize $696 billion for managing the nation's vast military enterprise in 2018, nearly $30 billion more for core Pentagon operations than President Donald Trump requested.

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