Republicans in the House have added multiple amendments to the defense spending bill that are a direct aim at the rights of the LGBTQ community and reproductive rights are not at all popular with voters, no matter what their political affiliation is.
That’s according to a report published recently by progressive polling and think tank firm Data for Progress.
Earlier this month, House GOP members put several amendments into the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that must pass, targeting both diversity programs in the military as well as access that service members have to healthcare for gender-affirming procedures and abortions.
The proposed NDAA totals $886 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year 2024. It passed through the House this month by a narrow margin of 219 to 210. Four Republicans opposed the proposal, while four Democrats supported it.
A survey from Data for Progress, which was released on Tuesday, showed that 60% of all voters believe that any bill that focuses on spending in the military shouldn’t contain measures that, in any way, target the LGBTQ community.
Data shows that a majority of every major political affiliation believes this way, too, with 67% of Democrats, 61% of independents and even 51% of Republicans saying they agreed.
In addition, 63% of all voters agreed any U.S. service members who considers themselves to be transgender should be given access to health care that’s medically necessary, which would include any gender-affirming procedures. Both Democrats and independents agreed with that statement overwhelmingly, while a plurality of GOP voters said they agreed.
The Data for Progress poll surveyed more than 1,200 adult voters in the U.S. from July 19 to July 20.
One amendment to the NDAA that the House passed prevents TRICARE from paying for the expenses related to any gender-affirming surgery or hormones given to transgender people. TRICARE is the health-care program that covers service members, their dependents and retirees.
That amendment was introduced by Republican Representative Matt Rosendale of Montana. During a House floor speech earlier this month, he said:
“The government has no business funding these procedures on the taxpayer’s dime.”
The medical community considers gender-affirming health care to be medically necessary for transgender people since it could save someone’s life. The care includes, at times, puberty blockers, surgery and hormone replacement therapy.
During its annual meeting last month, the American Medical Association reaffirmed its commitment to protecting this care, as it adopted a resolution that formally opposed “any and all” repercussions handed down to patients who wanted this type of care, as well as their family members and health-care providers.
The resolution was introduced by the Endocrine Society, which wrote in a formal release in June:
“As political attacks on gender-affirming care escalate, it is the responsibility of the medical community to speak out in support of evidence-based care. Medical decision should be made by patients, their relatives and health care providers, not politicians.”