House Passes LGBT Amendment After Chaos Surrounding Measure Last Week

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May 26, 2016 8:40 a.m.
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The House on Wednesday night passed an amendment that ensures federal contractors cannot discriminate against LGBT employees after several Republicans switched their votes to defeat a similar measure last week, prompting disarray on the House floor.

The House passed the measure sponsored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) as an amendment to an Energy Department spending bill, with 43 Republican members supporting it, according to The Hill.

Maloney initially introduced the measure as an amendment to a Veterans Affairs spending bill last week after the House passed a defense bill with language that undermines an executive order from President Obama and lets federal contractors fire LGBT people.

When the House voted on Maloney’s amendment last week, it initially looked like it would pass, with several Republicans supporting the measure. But Republicans held the vote open past the initial time set aside, and a handful of Republicans slowly switched their votes to defeat the measure.

As Republicans switched their votes from “yes” to “no,” shouts of “Regular order” and “Shame!” could be heard on the House floor. And when the measure ultimately failed, Democrats protested the way Republicans maneuvered the amendment’s defeat.

Democrats then called out House Republicans on Twitter, shaming them for switching votes to defeat an anti-discrimination measure meant to protect LGBT individuals.

All of the Republicans who switched their votes to defeat the measure last week voted for the amendment on Wednesday night, according to The Hill.

In response to last week’s chaos, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) moved to require amendments to be printed ahead of time.

Although some Republicans supported Maloney’s measure Wednesday night, they passed an amendment to Maloney’s measure saying that federal funds could not be used in violation of Obama’s LGBT order “except as required by the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.”

The House also passed amendments supporting North Carolina’s law banning transgender people from using the public restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. One amendment keeps the federal government from pulling funding from North Carolina over the law, and the other offers religious exemptions, according to Politico.

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