Senators Ernst and Grassley react to President Trump's transgend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Senators Ernst and Grassley react to President Trump's transgender military ban

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Transgender people will not be able to serve in the U.S. military.  That's what President Trump declared this morning in a tweet.  Posted at 7:55 a.m. ET Wednesday morning, the President said, "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you"

The President says the decision had been made after consulting with generals and other military officials.  However, he didn't go into any detail about whether or not he and his administration had a plan in place to implement the ban.

Reaction to his tweet was unsurprisingly swift across the country.  In Iowa, Senator Joni Ernst, a 23-year military veteran, says she disagrees with President Trump.  The Des Moines Register reports that Ernst spokesperson, Brook Hougesen, wrote in an email that the senator “believes what is most important is making sure service members can meet the physical training standards, and the willingness to defend our freedoms and way of life." He continued, “[w]hile she believes taxpayers shouldn’t cover the costs associated with a gender reassignment surgery, Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity."

Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the United States Senate. She also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard.

Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Grassley spoke with multiple Iowa reporters during his weekly phone call with them Wednesday afternoon. 

“We have certain standards to get in the military: weight standards, education standards, the ability to do a job, those physical capabilities.  And if you're a person - man or woman or any other category you want to name - then you meet those standards, you ought to be able to get in, ” Grassley said.

Grassley plans to speak more with Ernst and look into the ban further.

At a press briefing in Washington Wednesday afternoon, the President's morning tweet faced many questions.  White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn't able to provide a timeline as to when the implementation of a ban would take effect, or answer questions regarding what will happen to transgender people who are currently serving. 

Multiple reports indicate President Trump's ban decision was inspired by a standoff among House Republicans, in regards to passing the current defense spending bill.  With that bill, public funding for surgeries for transgender service members would need to be removed to increase military spending and construct the U.S./Mexico border wall, among many other things.

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