May 26, 2016 Update: Well there’s good news, bad news, and truly bizarre news with regard to the amendment discussed below that was intended to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.
The good news is that the House of Representatives reconsidered the amendment on Wednesday evening and passed it by a vote of 223 to 195. This time around 43 Republicans actually supported the amendment, 14 more than last week. You can read more about that here.
The bad news is that the bill the amendment was attached to was then defeated today by a vote of 112-305 for a complicated set of reasons that found both a majority of Democrats and Republicans voting against it. Find out more about that here.
The bizarre news is that a majority of the Republicans opposing the bill apparently did so after Representative Rick Allen (R-Georgia) launched the GOP’s regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement on Thursday by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision were defying Christian tenets.
Complicated? Definitely! Don’t have time to read all those stories I linked to? This one summarizes the whole thing pretty well.
But the bottom line remains pretty much the same. Most Republicans hate you, some Republicans think you worthy of death, and even those Republicans who toss a vote your way occasionally can’t be trusted to do the right thing when push comes to shove.
Just thought you should know how loved you are by the Republican party 🙂
May 19, 2016 Original Post
Remember that scene in the last chapter of Connected where time runs out on the House floor with the amendment ending funding for the war in Burkistan leading by a vote of 216 to 213?
Remember how happy Andy was, only to see the House leadership hold the vote open until they could twist enough arms to defeat the amendment?
Well it just happened again in real life on an amendment important to the LGBTQ community.
House erupts in chaos after LGBT vote
byy Rachael Bade, Ben Weyl and John Bresnahan
05/19/16 12:50 PM EDT
The House erupted in chaos Thursday morning with Democrats crying foul after Republicans hastily convinced a few of their own to switch their votes and narrowly block an amendment intended to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.
It was an unruly scene on the floor, with Democrats chanting “shame!” after GOP leaders just barely muscled up the votes to reject, 212-213, an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would have effectively barred federal contractors from getting government work if they discriminate against the LGBT community.
At one point, a monitor in the House gallery showed there were 217 votes supporting the legislation, eliciting cheers of joy from Democrats who thought the measure might actually pass. But over the course of about 10 minutes, those votes suddenly dropped one by one to 212 — and the amendment failed.
Take a look again at that image from C-SPAN above. It clearly shows time expired with the amendment passing by a vote of 217 to 206. But no amendment is final until the gavel falls, of course, and over the course of the next several minutes Republican leaders pressured enough of their members to switch their votes and defeat the amendment by a vote of 213 to 212.
Feel free to read the rest of the story and watch a video of the proceedings here.
What can we learn from this? That truth is stranger than fiction?
But for me the main thing to learn is what has been obvious for many years. Most Republicans are not friends of the LGBTQ community. In fact, they’re our enemies and should be recognized as such and dealt with as the bigots they are.
More to the point, we can also learn that even some Republicans who claim to be friends are liars. On this particular vote, seven Republicans were especially spineless cowards, only too willing to bow to pressure rather than stand up for what they claimed to believe in.
The hall of shame includes the following Republican members: Representatives Darrell Issa, Jeff Denham, Mimi Walters and David Valadao, all of California; Greg Walden of Oregon; David Young of Iowa; and Bruce Poliquin of Maine.
If you live in a district represented by one of those cowards, I would strongly encourage you to let them know what you think, both now and come November.
But the truth is that Republicans are not your friends. They’re still voting to support bigotry and discrimination against you; and Republicans will keep doing this until you stand up and fight back with your voice, your vote, and your money.
And here you thought I was just writing fiction 🙂