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U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The federal government is funding underage “gender reassignment” procedures for the families of government employees and has no interest in keeping track of how many, according to a recent exchange between U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Rob Shriver, acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

During a hearing Tuesday of the House Oversight & Accountability Committee, Gosar pressed Shriver on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program­ (FEHB) contracting with health plans that commit surgical and chemical “transition” procedures on children suffering from gender confusion – particularly at a time when the United Kingdom and other European governments are moving away from the practices in response to mounting evidence of their medical dangers that U.S. authorities continue to ignore.

READ: Another European country just dealt a devastating blow to the transgender movement

Shriver responded that “the health plans that participate in the FEHB decide on the benefit packages that they make available,” claiming that his office had no authority over the specific benefits of FEHB plans. Gosar was incredulous that he was essentially “allowing a bad product to go forward here,” then noted that FEHB actually mandated coverage of “gender transitions” or “sex transformation” in a 2016 program carrier letter.

Citing restrictions on puberty blockers adopted in recent years by Denmark, England, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, the congressman lamented, “I thought the USA was better than that. I thought we were the leaders in science, not followers. I find it disgusting that you still sit there and hide behind that, when children are being mutilated.”

Shriver also deflected Gosar’s call for “greater transparency” and data collection on children being “transitioned” through FEHB health plans, noting that former OPM director Kiran Ahuja, who stepped down earlier this month for reported health and family issues, previously refused to mandate reporting on how many children receive the “services.”

Gosar previously introduced language to deny taxpayer funding to any FEHB plan that covered “gender transitions” in the most recent government appropriations package, but it was cut from the final version that was signed into law in March.

READ: UK’s National Health Service to stop prescribing puberty blockers to gender-confused children

Contrary to the Biden administration’s pretense of acting in children’s best interests, a significant body of evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who lack the mental development, emotional maturity, and life experience to consider the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them, or full knowledge about the long-term effects of life-altering, physically transformative, and often irreversible surgical and chemical procedures.

Studies find that more than 80 percent of children suffering gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that full “reassignment” surgery fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide – and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

The Biden administration’s own Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a since-deleted report last year acknowledging that self-professed homosexual and bisexual adults “are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health conditions including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.”

Yet the White House continues to give uncompromising support to all major aspects of the LGBT agenda, including reopening the military to recruits afflicted with gender dysphoria, promoting gender ideology within the military (including “diversity” and drag events on military bases), holding White House events to “affirm transgender kids,” condemning state laws against underage “transitions” as “close to sinful,” promoting underage “transitions” (potentially at taxpayer expense) as a “best practice,” and trying to force federally funded schools to let males into female athletic competitions and restrooms.