During the debate in the United States Senate over the American Recovery Plan on Saturday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) blasted an amendment proposed by Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) which sought to strip funding from schools that permit transgender students to play sports on whichever team aligns with their gender identities.
Tuberville insisted that his amendment “safeguards fairness and equality for women” and served as a check against liberal brainwashing:
I started my career coaching high school football, boys and girls basketball, 45 years ago. Just a few years after Title IX was enacted, it ensured young women had the same opportunities as young men and the same access to funding, facilities, and athletic scholarships. Title IX has given young women the long-denied platform that had always been afforded to men, and today America’s female athletes are routinely the best-performing on the world’s stage.
My amendment, co-sponsored by Senators [Lindsey] Graham [R-SC] and [Roger] Marshall [R-KS] recognizes that Title IX’s role in protecting women in education and in sports. Under this amendment, educational institutions would be prohibited from receiving funding if biological males are allowed to compete in women’s athletics. This amendment safeguards fairness and equality for women. This amendment will ensure that education funding and the bill is properly directed to schools who are focused on COVID response and recovery rather than pushing a liberal agenda. I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
Murray – not buying into Tuberville’s rationalizations for bigotry – drove a proverbial bulldozer through Tuberville’s brazenly prejudicial ploy:
This amendment will undermine the goals of this bill, to provide assistance to all educators, all students, and families who have struggled through this pandemic. It is simply an attempt to discriminate against transgender students. All students, including transgender students, benefit from participating in sports – to challenge themselves, to improve fitness, to be part of a team. Allowing transgender students to participate in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity in no way disadvantages their fellow students.
For the love of God, can’t we just have a little bit of heart and compassion in this world for someone who doesn’t look or live exactly like you? Instead of focusing on discriminatory policies, we should be examining the real issues with gender parity in sports when it comes to funding and resources and pay equity.
I oppose this amendment because it discriminates against transgender students. It is a harmful attempt to undermine our work to help students and families.
Murray then argued that Tuberville’s amendment was illegal:
Madam President, I raise a point of order that the pending amendment produces budgetary changes that are merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the amendment violates section 313 B1D of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Tuberville’s amendment failed 50-49. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favor of the amendment. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, meanwhile, was the only Republican Senator to vote against it.
The American Recovery Plan was passed 50-49 along party lines among lawmakers who were present for the vote.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.