Political Editors / May 26, 2016

The Demos' LGBT Gauntlet

It's an attempt to create a diversion before the 2016 election.

For the second time in a week, Democrats in the House are using an amendment that would codify one of Barack Obama’s executive orders to disrupt Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempt at regular order. This Thursday, Democrats tacked on an amendment to an energy and water spending bill that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating regarding gender identity or sexual orientation — an executive order Obama issued in 2014. Republicans voted against the spending bill over the amendment, while Democrats voted against the bill because they didn’t like the spending levels. Together, the House killed the whole bill that would have appropriated money to the Department of Energy. This comes after Congress spent years operating by passing short-term continuing resolutions instead of something substantial like this appropriations bill.

A week earlier, openly homosexual Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) tried to attach this amendment to the defense spending bill. At first, the measure barely had enough votes, but after holding the vote open and persuading some lawmakers to switch their votes, GOP leaders defeated the measure — which made Democrats cry, “Discrimination!”

Ryan said of the amendment, “This is federalism. The states should do this. The federal government shouldn’t stick its nose in this business.”

Indeed, this “LGBT” amendment is an attempt to create a diversion before the 2016 election. It’s the latest development in a fight that could endanger the whole appropriations process this session, and it’s an excuse for Democrats to say Republicans can’t lead. Of course, they’re the ones that gamed the system.

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