California Rep. Duncan Hunter told transgender people who want to join the U.S. military to "choose what gender you are before you join."

Hunter, R-Calif., was speaking in favor of an amendment that would keep taxpayer money from going toward gender reassignment operations for American service members during the debate over the National Defense Authorization Act.

"This is the silliest opposition to this amendment that I've ever heard. You're joining the U.S. military, choose what gender you are before you join," Hunter said.

"We're not saying that transgender people can't serve, but if you are going to take the big step of serving in the U.S. military, figure out whether you are a man or a woman before you join up. We're saying taxpayers in this country right now are not going to foot the bill for it. This is a silly thing. It's time to put this to bed."

He ended his statement by saying he supported the amendment and added, "Let's make America great again."