On Wednesday, President Trump announced via Twitter that transgender people are now to be banned from serving in the U.S. military. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” the tweets read.

Bipartisan backlash

The President is now facing heavy backlash from this announcement, from both Democrats and Republicans alike. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota stated, "If a service member can do the job and is willing, they should be able to serve -- and they should be able to be open about who they are. Decisions about military force posture and readiness are matters of life and death that should be among the most seriously considered by a president, and motivated by the best military judgment of the armed forces -- not by politics.”

Many Republicans have spoken out to criticize President Trump’s announcement as well. Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly said in a statement that "When the stakes are as high as the safety and security of the United States, we should always have an open door for the best, most talented patriots.

Military Service should be about abilities, integrity, and performance, and I agree with my Republican colleague Senator Shelby that everybody should be treated fairly and given a chance to serve."

Why the ban?

In the wake of Trump’s tweets, it remains uncertain whether or not transgender individuals already serving will be affected by the ban.

The New York Times reports that the president hastily announced the ban in order to protect a $790 billion defense and security spending package that’s to be voted on later this week. Lawmakers had been debating whether taxpayer dollars should go toward gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender individuals serving in the military, and this battle threatened to impede the passage of the spending package.

Included in the package is $1.6 billion for the president’s border wall, one of the cornerstones of his election campaign.

In an effort to keep the spending package-- and the wall-- from a potential stalemate in Congress, President Trump decided to ban all Transgender People from military service. His ban is an attempt to resolve the issue of taxpayer-funded medical care for transitioning transgender individuals. However, his announcement came so suddenly that details of the ban and how it is to be implemented are not yet clear. The president’s tweets were met with outrage and lawsuit threats from various civil rights and transgender advocacy groups.