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Congress Considers Limiting Transgender Surgery of Children

Liberal Roll Call reports:

House Republicans who waged fierce political battles over Obamacare and abortion after that have found a new focus as the lead-up to the 2024 elections: gender-affirming care for transgender Americans.

They've added riders on seven of the 12 House fiscal 2024 appropriations bills that would put restrictions on gender-affirming care, which can be anything from hormone therapy to surgical care to insurance coverage of either.

The fight has extended beyond spending bills into policy measures as well: They've held up traditionally bipartisan programs to pay for pediatrician training over hospitals' decisions to provide such care. Another bill would create a global gag rule for gender-affirming care similar to the Mexico City policy for abortion care...........

"It's important for Republicans to establish a pattern about their perspective," said Jay Richards, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, calling the organizing efforts a "preparation for what's to come" in the 2024 election.

Appropriations riders

This is the first year that Republicans have tacked on amendments to ban gender-affirming care to appropriations bills, according to both the Human Rights Campaign and an analysis of past bills. The riders include:

  • The Labor-HHS-Education, Military Construction-VA and Defense bills would prohibit federal funds from going toward any gender-affirming care treatment, including surgical procedures or hormone therapies.
  • The Commerce-Justice-Science bill would prohibit federal funds from being used for a sex-altering surgical procedure in either a federally-owned or a private facility being used by the federal government.
  • The Financial Services bill would prohibit the Federal Employees Health Benefits program from covering the cost of surgical procedures, puberty blockers or hormone therapy for the purpose of gender-affirming care.

Rep. Daniel Crenshaw, R-Texas, introduced a version of the legislation that would bar any federal funds to hospitals that provide gender-affirming care, including hormone therapy and 19 specific procedures for transgender youth. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill along party lines in July.............................

Last year, (SPEAKER Mike) Johnson introduced legislation modeled after Florida's "don't say gay" bill that would have prohibited discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in any institution that receives federal funds. In the House Judiciary Committee, he's been a leading Republican championing anti-trans policies.

"This so-called gender affirming care is anything but affirming and caring," Johnson said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing he hosted earlier this year titled "The Dangers and Due Process Violations of 'Gender-Affirming Care' for Children."...................