House Fails To Pass Energy Spending Bill After LGBT Amendment Added

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The GOP-controlled House on Thursday was unable to pass an energy and water spending bill after a Democratic amendment to the legislation protecting some LGBT workers from discrimination was added to the bill Wednesday night.

The bill failed 112-305 with 130 Republicans voting against the bill and only 6 Democrats voting to pass the spending measure.

The conservative group Heritage Action had been pushing for the energy bill to be defeated over the LGBT amendment.

The energy bill’s failure could derail the appropriations process that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) set out to restore when he took over as leader.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said that the bill’s failure to pass on Thursday will not halt the appropriations process in the House.

“I’m very disappointed that this bill could not clear the House today, but I remain dedicated to working this bill and all other Appropriations bills through regular order – through the Committee, through the Congress, and to the President’s desk. Today’s result will not stop our process, but is merely a temporary pause,” Rogers said in a statement.

In a press conference following the bill’s defeat, Ryan said that the House would push forward with the appropriations process and blamed the energy bill’s failure on House Democrats.

“The Democrats were not looking to advance an issue,” he said. “They were looking to sabotage the appropriations process. … They are trying to stop the appropriations process in its tracks.”

This is the second time in the past two weeks that the Democratic amendment protecting LGBT rights caused disarray in the House. Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) initially introduced the measure as an amendment to a Veterans Affairs bill last week. The amendment looked like it would pass until a handful of Republicans switched their votes to defeat the amendment.

Democrats balked, and Maloney introduced the measure again as an amendment to the Energy bill. This time the measure passed.

After the chaos that broke out over the LGBT amendment last week, Ryan moved to bring more order to the process with a rule requiring amendments to be printed ahead of time.

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