June 19 (UPI) -- The Democratic-controlled House voted to block the Trump administration's new transgender troop policy during a debate on a $1 trillion spending package.
Lawmakers voted 243-183 Tuesday in favor of an amendment by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) that blocks funding for a policy that forces members of the U.S. armed forces to serve under their biological gender while barring those who've received transitional therapies from joining the military.
"Proud to lead the fight against POTUS's discriminatory, unconstitutional ban on open transgender service in our military," Speier said on Twitter. "My amendment just passed the House 243 to 183 [with] bipartisan support."
The policy, which went into effect on April 12, has been criticized by Democrats and medical associations.
American Medical Association President Barbara McAneny said she was "troubled" by the policy.
"The AMA has said repeatedly that there is no medically valid reason - including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria - to exclude transgender individuals from military service," she said.
House Republicans defend the policy, saying it isn't a ban on transgender people but in support of military readiness.
"This issue is not one of social policy but of deployability," Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) said. "Individuals with medical conditions that do not allow them to deploy, such as those identified in the policy, adversely impact the military readiness and reduce the military's war-fighting capability."