WASHINGTON — The Republican Study Committee (RSC) backed legislation on Friday that would prohibit schools that receive federal funds from allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports.
“The Republican Study Committee formally endorses H.R. 426, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, introduced by Rep. Greg Steube, to bar schools that accept federal funds from letting biological males compete against biological females in athletic events designated for women or girls,” the committee said in a statement first obtained by The Daily Wire.
“RSC is committed to preserving female athletes’ legally guaranteed right to compete on a level playing field,” the RSC statement said. “The 50th anniversary of Title IX is just months away and House Democrats should be forced to show whether they still support women’s sports. We support the use of a discharge petition to bring this bill to the floor.”
The move signals increased focus from Republicans heading into the midterms on a culture war issue that resonates strongly with many Americans.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) warned in a Friday statement to The Daily Wire that “the left is trying to effectively repeal Title IX by denying the biological differences between men and women.”
“Every Democrat in Congress should have to go on the record about whether they support equal opportunity for women and girls,” he said.
The RSC will file the discharge petition next week, The Daily Wire has learned.
H.R. 426, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, would make it a violation of federal law for recipients of federal funds to allow biological males to participate in women’s sports, specifying that sex must be based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.
Bill sponsor and RSC member Greg Steube (R-FL) called the inclusion of biological males in women’s sports “an affront to female athletes around the country.”
“We have seen this practice prevent talented athletes from achieving their goals; stripping them of records, rosters, and scholarships,” he said Friday. “My bill ensures school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
“Instead of constantly paying lip service to women, Nancy Pelosi should have put her money where her mouth is and allowed for the House to vote on this legislation,” he added. “But since Speaker Pelosi has refused, I call on my colleagues to join us in actually doing something to protect women and girls by signing onto our discharge petition next week.”
The Republicans’ support for the measure is a response to increasing efforts by progressive groups and activists to force schools and higher education institutions to permit transgender women to compete in female sports.
As recently as March, transgender athlete Lia Thomas, a biological male, competed in multiple races in the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships against biological females.
The NCAA has apparently ignored national outcry over Thomas’s inclusion in the competition, despite criticism from parents and highly publicized calls for action from Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy and University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines — both of whom competed against Thomas.
“The American people are demanding we fight back against woke liberals and organizations like the NCAA that are forcing a radical transgender agenda on the American people at the expense of women and girls,” RSC member Barry Moore (R-AL), the father of two daughters who competed in women’s athletics, insisted Friday.
“Why would we send federal funds to schools that permit an unlevel playing field by allowing biological males to compete against girls and women?” asked RSC Executive Committee Member Jeff Duncan (R-SC). “Female athletes have a legally guaranteed right to compete with other women on a level playing field, and this must be protected for the future of women’s sports.”
He added: “This should be common sense, but the radical Left is intent of redefining biological constructs and thwarting the laws of science, all to push their radical anti-woman, anti-science agenda.”