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Senator John McCain launches effort to block Trump’s transgender troops ban with four other Senators

September 15, 2017

U.S. Senator and Navy veteran John McCain is one of four U.S. Senators who have introduced a legislative bill that would prevent President Trump’s transgender military ban.

He launched the bill on Friday along with its co-authors Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s highest ranking Democrat also signed on to the bill.

McCain is one of the most powerful voices in the U.S. Senate from his seat as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The legislation would prevent the Pentagon from involuntarily separating or denying the re-enlistment of active duty transgender people based on the identity of their gender. It would also require SECDEF Mattis to completely the study of transgender recruits that he started before Trump announced the ban and that Mattis wants to complete.

The bill would also recommend and urge that all individuals who can meet military standards should be eligible to serve.

McCain said in a statement, “When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country…Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve — including those who are transgender.”

President Trump previously ordered the Pentagon to continue the ban on transgender people from joining the military and gave Secretary of Defense Mattis six months to determine a policy on how to address transgender people who are currently serving.

Senators Gillibrand and Collins previously introduced this amendment into the National Defense Authorization Act but their amendment is not expected to get traction due to a variety of factors so they introduced it as a stand-alone bill.

Here is Senator Gillibrand talking about the bill;