NJ Politics Digest: GOP Congressmen Question Trump’s Transgender Ban

Tom MacArthur. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Three Republican New Jersey congressmen questioned President Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military on Wednesday, a week after they bucked their party on Pentagon funding for gender reassignment surgeries.

Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-2), Tom MacArthur (R-3) and Leonard Lance (R-7) raised doubts about Trump’s transgender ban after the president said the military “cannot be burdened” with medical costs related to the surgeries. The lawmakers were also three of 24 Republicans to help vote down a U.S. House bill that would have blocked the Pentagon from paying for the medical procedures.

“Removing thousands of men & women from admirably & honorably serving is counter-intuitive to strengthening military,” LoBiondo wrote on Twitter. 

The Republican congressmen may also be feeling pressure from the growing list of Democrats trying to take their seats. LoBiondo was the latest to get a challenger Wednesday as Tanzie Youngblood, a retired teacher and Democrat, announced she is mounting a 2018 midterm bid against the 22-year incumbent. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting the state’s GOP-held districts as it seeks to seize on Trump’s unpopularity in New Jersey to win a majority in the House.

Former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver made her debut as Phil Murphy’s running mate, and wasted little time attacking Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. For her part, Guadagno brought up Oliver’s role in cutting public worker pension and health care benefits in 2011. She will announce her running mate Thursday morning in West New York, and we all expect it to be Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo. 

Quote of the Day: “I would have to lay low and pay my taxes on time. I’d make sure to not even run a red light.” — State Sen. Loretta Weinberg on what would happen if Gov. Chris Christie became U.S. Attorney General.

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NJ Politics Digest: GOP Congressmen Question Trump’s Transgender Ban