Former Bush Aide Ari Fleischer Urges House To Pass ENDA

A former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush on Thursday urged the House of Representatives to take up and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would bar discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Politico published an opinion column by Ari Fleischer Thursday afternoon, shortly after the Senate approved the legislation by a bipartisan margin, 64 to 32. Ten Republican Senators joined Democrats to pass the bill.

“Allowing people to be successful in their workplaces is an essential piece of individual opportunity and liberty,” Fleischer wrote. “Working for a living is one of America’s freedoms. It’s a virtue to be encouraged — and supporting it is important to the future of the Republican Party. In an era in which the government often punishes hard work and individual success, this bill encourages it.

“At its core, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is about individual liberty,” he continued. “All employees should be treated the same and be judged on their job performance. No one should receive special treatment, and no one should be fired because of their sexual orientation.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has signaled he won’t bring the bill for a vote.

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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