The Department of Veterans Affairs is acting in a way that won’t allow them to publish a rule allowing transgender veterans to get access to “gender confirming/affirming” surgeries. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Denis Richard McDonough, is currently hiding from service of process of a Petition demanding answers how to such a denial can be legal.
The original plan the VA published before they sent a draft notice of proposed rulemaking to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was to publish before the end of 2022, as seen in their semi-annual Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan, available at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=202210&RIN=2900-AR34. White House records prove that a document was sent to the White House on April 14, 2022, and that it was returned to the Department of Veterans Affairs without permission to publish on September 7, 2022, as demonstrated by the conclusion of the Executive Order 12866 Regulatory Review, available at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoDetails?rrid=238661.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is no longer pursuing a rulemaking and is instead continuing to collect public comment. When asked why they aren’t publishing the nondiscrimination rule for transgender veterans with enough time for it to be finalized before the end of Biden’s term, the VA declined to comment.