Obama Plans ENDA-Like Executive Order After House GOP Stalls Bill

President Barack Obama is planning on signing an executive order to protect LGBT employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination, the White House told TPM on Monday.

His move comes after the House has nixed the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar most employers from discriminating on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Following on his pledge for this to be a year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the President has directed his staff to prepare for his signature an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” a White House official said. “The action would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This is consistent with the President’s views that all Americans, LGBT or not, should be treated with dignity and respect.”

The official reiterated his support for ENDA, which passed the Senate in November, and criticized the Republican-led House for declining to bring it up. In February, the president took similar action on a minimum wage hike after it stalled in Congress, raising it to $10.10 per hour for federal contractors, the small portion of the economy that is directly under his control.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the sponsor of ENDA, said, “With this announcement, the arc of history bends a little farther toward justice. Discrimination simply has no place in American workplaces.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Dc
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: