Senate Committee schedules vote on ENDA
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee has scheduled to hold a vote July 10 on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The mark-up of the legislation, set to be held exactly two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA, appears to be an effort to capitalise on the momentum LGBTQ equality rights have been given this year.
Committee Chair, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) had previously announced his intent to move ENDA out of the committee earlier this year. While 12 of his Senate colleagues and fellow democrats on the committee are listed as co-sponsors of the measure, along with GOP Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill), the question is whether or not Republican Senator Lisa Murlowski will support the effort and vote for the measure. In the weeks leading up to the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, she became the third GOP lawmaker in the Senate to publicly state her support for same-sex marriage equality. Murlowski also voted in favor of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd hate crimes legislation.
Should the measure pass the through to the full Senate, it is expected to be met with resistance from the Republican minority and if passed will likely not gain passage in the GOP controlled House.