The long overdue vote on ENDA does appear to be coming, but support is lacking in the Senate where 16 Democrats have not signed on as co-sponsors. DC Agenda reports:
As of this week, there were 45 Senate co-sponsors of ENDA, along with chief sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), bringing the total committed votes to 46. Of the 46, 42 are Democrats and two are independents. Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are the only Senate Republicans that have signed on as co-sponsors. Thirty-nine Republican senators have declined to co-sponsor the bill compared to the 16 Democrats who chose not to become a co-sponsor. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) signed on as a co-sponsor on March 10, reducing the number of uncommitted Democrats from 17 to 16. For the first of a series of reports on the Democratic senators uncommitted on ENDA, DC Agenda contacted experts and activists in the states that five of those senators represent, seeking to assess how they would vote if the measure reaches the Senate floor sometime this year. The five senators include Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), and Clare McCaskill (D-Mo.). Spokespeople for the five did not return calls this week seeking to determine their position on ENDA.
Things look better in the House, where 199 reps (of the needed 216) have signed on as co-sponsors. In 2007 a trans-exclusive version of ENDA passed easily in the House with 35 Republicans on board, but was never voted upon by the Senate. The current version of the bill IS trans-inclusive.
ACTION: Call your Congressional representatives TODAY and request their support on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In the Senate, the bill is S.1584. (Direct phone numbers here.) In the House, it’s HR 3017. (Direct phone numbers here.) The main Congressional switchboard number: 202.224.3121.