Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not the ENDA It

Today, we're supposed to believe House Republican "leaders" are all too willing to "work with President Obama" on a "number of issues". It just so happens that the "number of issues" that House "leaders" want to "work with President Obama" on are the very ("TEA" flavored) issues that the President has vowed to veto and the Senate simply won't pass (so they never even have a chance of reaching President Obama's desk). So much for that "Republican spirit of cooperation".

But wait, there's more! House Speaker John Boehner (R-Country Club) really wants everyone in America to know just how willing he is to work with the President. And how so? Oh, he's just promised again to block legislation that would give LGBTQ workers a fair shake.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told attendees last week at his first-ever meeting with the LGBT Equality Caucus there was “no way” the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would pass this year, according to a gay lawmaker who attended the meeting.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who’s gay and one of the caucus co-chairs, volunteered information Tuesday night about the meeting in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol when the Washington Blade asked him about his views on the absence of the ENDA from the State of the Union address.

“A number of us did meet with, actually the caucus met with Speaker Boehner,” Takano said. “He said no way was it going to get done in this session.”

Once again, we're seeing "Republican rebranding" at its finest. We're supposed to be wowed by the fact that Speaker Boehner actually meeting with the House LGBT Equality Caucus for the first time ever. What he failed to realize is that actions speak louder than words. And when even the words sound awful, that just worsens the problem.

Why are we supposed to believe Speaker Boehner's promises to cooperate with The White House and the Senate when he refuses to cooperate with them on bipartisan legislation like ENDA. It not only passed the Senate last November, but did so on a solid 64-32 bipartisan vote that included the likes of Senator Dean Heller (R-Remember Him?). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Fierce) has already offered Speaker Boehner one sickening olive branch. Why is Boehner so quick to throw it back, and do so with so much shade?

It's not as if ENDA has no chance of passing passing the House if it were allowed a floor vote. Au contraire, the bill now has 200 cosponsors in the House! Just this week, the now (in)famous Michael Grimm (R-Ummm, He's No Pushover?) became the 200th overall cosponsor and 6th Republican cosponsor. Why wouldn't Speaker Boehner bring to the floor a bill with this much bipartisan support in both houses of Congress?

Is he truly having trouble with "basic plumbing lessons"? Does he actually believe freedom from wrongful discrimination is "unnecessary"? Or is he really so afraid of the 21st Century Know Nothings that he'll scuttle yet another bipartisan backed bill in another desperate, futile attempt to placate them?

Whatever the case, this isn't the end of ENDA... Far from it.

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