House Democrats will try again this week to pass legislation promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people after being thwarted in a dramatic vote last week.
The office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who sponsored the anti-discrimination provision, confirmed Tuesday that the New York Democrat will offer his amendment again as part of this week’s debate on an energy and water appropriations bill. 
{mosads}The issue sparked chaos on the House floor last week amid debate over military construction spending when GOP leaders held open the vote and twisted Republicans’ arms to sink Maloney’s amendment after it had secured enough support to pass. 
Democrats howled, and Maloney charged Republicans with “a naked endorsement of discrimination.” It’s a message the party’s campaign operatives are already using on the election trail. And to keep the pressure up, especially on Republicans who switched their votes, Democrats will continue the push this week.
“I was asked the question, ‘Do I think it’s possible there could be amendments along that line?’ The answer is there will be,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday morning. “We believe that our country is all about inclusion.” 
Maloney’s short amendment stipulated that the underlying military spending bill could not undermine President Obama’s executive order barring discrimination by government contractors. The provision had 217 votes on the floor last Thursday when the vote clock expired — four more than it needed to pass — but Republican leaders extended the time and urged GOP supporters to flip their votes. The strategy worked, and Maloney’s measure failed 213-212.
Hoyer, the Democratic whip, said he has not talked to GOP leaders about how they’ll approach the amendment this time. But he said he’s hopeful Republicans will have a change of heart, and he hammered their argument that the military spending bill would have failed if Maloney’s amendment had been attached.
“I would call your attention to the fact that the rationalization for the [Republican] leadership working against this amendment was that if the Maloney amendment had passed, which precluded discrimination, then the Republicans wouldn’t vote for the [military construction] bill,” Hoyer said. “What kind of argument is that? That unless the bill allows for discrimination, we’re not going to vote for it? I don’t get that.”
The timing on the Maloney amendment this week is unclear.
Tags anti-discrimination Discrimination LGBT issues Sean Patrick Maloney Steny Hoyer

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