Ernst opposes Trump’s ban on transgender troops

President Donald Trump’s new plan to ban transgender people from the military is running into opposition from a key ally: Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the veteran said Ernst has served with people "from all different backgrounds" and that gender is not a vital indicator of someone’s military prowess.

"She believes what is most important is making sure servicemembers can meet the physical training standards, and the willingness to defend our freedoms and way of life," the spokeswoman said. "Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity."

Trump said on Wednesday that the United States "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."

The House, meanwhile, has been fighting over whether the Pentagon should fund gender reassignment surgeries, recently rejecting an amendment that would ban that practice.

Ernst says she does not support the military paying for such procedures.

"She believes taxpayers shouldn’t cover the costs associated with a gender reassignment surgery," Ernst’s spokeswoman said.


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