A legislative opportunity has opened for Democrats to respond to President Donald Trump’s plan to exclude transgender people from severing in the U.S. military.
CNN reports that the Senate has a tentative plan to consider the National Defense Authorization Act after the summer recess, and Democrats are working quietly on an amendment that “could reverse Trump’s directive…or at least protect transgender individuals.”
After abruptly tweeting his transgender ban last month, Trump followed it up on Friday with a directive blocking transgender recruits and curtailing medical treatment for those already serving in the military.
He also instructed Defense Secretary James Mattis to figure out what to do with transgender servicemember, who Trump considers impediments to military effectiveness.
On Tuesday, Mattis put the brakes on forcing transgender servicemembers out the military, as he announced the formation of a panel of experts to make recommendations, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, The Huffington Post said that 143 House Democrats signed a letter released on Tuesday urging Trump to rethink his ban, calling it discriminatory, unconstitutional and harmful to national security.
“Enforcing your ban could mean discharging active duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, and members of the Air Force who are serving honorably. It also would mean barring other patriotic Americans from serving in the future,” the letter stated, according to The Post.