Republicans in the House and the Senate are expressing outrage at the recent announcement from Joe Biden’s Veteran Affairs Secretary, Denis McDonough, that the Department of Veteran Affairs will advance policy to make “gender reassignment” surgery available to veterans.
McDonough claimed the policy is necessary because transgender veterans are at greater risk of mental illness and suicidal thoughts but do not always seek treatment.
“We’re making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do, but because they can save lives,” McDonough said.
The Associated Press reported McDonough said the policy will allow “transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side.”
But Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a veteran himself, slammed the announcement and said the White House was trying to win “the culture wars.”
“This announcement clearly has more to do with advancing a radical liberal agenda than serving veterans,” Bost said. “It is a disgrace. This administration should rethink their priorities immediately.”
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), said after the announcement:
This is a radical shift by President Biden and the VA to fund gender reassignment surgeries with taxpayer dollars. VA healthcare is for veterans who have suffered injuries or disabilities as a result of their service to our nation—not for unrelated medical procedures that are often dangerous and fail to bring any real healing to the patient.
“The VA should be providing high-quality mental health services to veterans to ensure even invisible battle scars are cared for, not prioritizing using taxpayer dollars to fund gender reassignment surgeries,” Daines said.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) said in a statement:
President Biden and Secretary McDonough advocating for taxpayer-funded gender transition surgeries is an absolute disgrace. The VA should be focused on taking care of America’s veterans, not pushing dangerous and unproven remedies on vulnerable populations.
“This is yet another radical policy proposal by an administration with no concern for the reality of its harmful effects on those suffering from mental illness who have sacrificed for our country,” Rosendale said.
Media reports said it could take years to put the policy into place.
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