In recent debate on the House floor, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) expertly dismantled the arguments underlying a proposal pushed by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) but supported more generally by Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.). Though the proposed amendment to an underlying bill was eventually rejected, the final tally had opponents only narrowly winning.
If approved by the House and later enacted, it would have mandated that certain rules relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion face a vote in Congress before their implementation. The measure was meant to amend a bill that would mandate such Congressional review of major rules — defined to mean those with certain large economic impacts, though the scope of that definition seems like it could jeopardize basic government action like steps to fight climate change. That connection could be made because of claimed costs to fossil fuel industries, failing to take into account the benefits both financial and social from advancements in clean energy technologies.
Roy, who spoke in the House in favor of his amendment, mentioned initiatives like providing gender-affirming surgeries as something he’d want to further scrutinize. Gender-affirming care, including surgeries for those for whom such would be appropriate, is broadly backed by many major medical organizations, and it defies basic logic to suggest that all those organizations are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to pull a fast one on Americans.
“America has a long history of discrimination, and efforts to include these historically marginalized groups should be celebrated and supported, not subjected to further scrutiny by Congress just because the majority disagrees with supporting these individuals,” Nadler told his colleagues.
“May I remind you that we represent all the people, and amendments like this undermine our service to our constituents,” he added to listeners. “I would ask, why should we tell hospitals not to perform certain medical procedures? If gender-affirming surgery is necessary for the patient and the doctor says it is, why shouldn’t the VA hospital provide such surgery? We do not, I presume, want to say it is because we want to discriminate against transgender people, or we want to discriminate against gay or lesbian people. I hope that is not what we are saying, but that is what this amendment seems to do.”
Nadler also discussed in other remarks on the House floor the other day how the underlying bill, with its mandated additional reviews of proposed regulatory measures, would make unsubstantiated assumptions, like that an economic assessment of certain proposals to the extent Republicans want is even reasonably possible. Elsewhere, figures like Greene have in very specific terms ranted against members of the LGBTQ+ community, making Nadler’s comments applicable even more broadly.