Alabama congressmen urge Obama to rescind bathroom policy
Four Alabama congressmen lent their names to a letter Monday calling on President Barack Obama to rescind the administration's guidance on transgender students and bathroom use, calling it a "poorly executed threat" and an example of executive overreach.
On Thursday, the Obama administration sent guidance to school districts saying that transgender students should be allowed to use the restroom they feel most comfortable using and not necessarily the one associated with their biological gender. Schools that don't comply with the order are in danger of having federal funds revoked.
"We are extremely concerned with the recent directive from your administration threatening legal action against or denial of congressionally appropriated funds to local school districts that do not allow students to use their bathroom of choice regardless of their gender," read the letter signed by 38 members of Congress, including Reps. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville; Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville; Gary Palmer, R-Hoover; and Bradley Byrne, R-Hoover. "We ask that you rescind your poorly executed threat to school districts across the country and reaffirm their right to govern themselves as they see fit within the bounds of the law."
The congressmen wrote that no laws or court decisions have "extended civil rights protections based on gender identity."
"Furthermore, your actions threaten to infringe on the constitutional rights of Congress to appropriate funds," they added. "We view this as an effort to implement your administration's political agenda outside the bounds of the law and the will of the American people."
Byrne said in a statement that the president "needs to stay out of our schools and stop with the political grandstanding," adding that he should instead "be focusing on serious issues like strengthening the military, taking care of our veterans, and helping bring Americans out of poverty."
"With all the serious issues going on in the world today, it is absurd that the Obama administration is worried about where students use the bathroom," he said. "This is federal overreach at its worst. These are decisions that should be handled at the state and local level, not by federal bureaucrats in Washington."
On Friday, Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said members of the Obama administration "have lost their minds" over issuing the guidance, while Palmer said, "this administration apparently has no concern about ... sexual predators," referring to what he viewed as a safety issue with the guidance.