Providing for Further Consideration of H.R. 4909, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017by Representative Derek Kilmer
Posted on 2016-05-18
KILMER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, the NDAA is about ensuring that we have the best trained and equipped fighting force in the world. It is about honoring our commitment to the men and women who serve and to their families. It is not about targeting proud Americans simply based on who they love; but this rule would effectively discriminate against LGBT men and women who serve our Nation as private contractors.
This rule runs contrary to our values. It runs contrary to what we believe in. It runs contrary to the idea that we treat everyone with equal respect. It also runs contrary to what the majority said it wants--a transparent process, allowing the House to work its will. This rule blocks an amendment that was offered by my Republican colleague, Charlie Dent, to strip this discriminatory provision from even being considered.
As we approach Memorial Day, our focus should be on providing our servicemembers with the proper tools so that they may carry out their missions, not on pushing forward provisions that target LGBT Americans. Let's vote down this rule. Let's strip this harmful policy from the NDAA so that we remain committed to equal rights, and let's get back to debating how best to support our troops.