BY Kerry Eleveld
January 13 2010 5:50 PM ET
A spokesperson for the House Education and Labor Committee said he
expected the committee vote to happen early this year, but would not be
“Health care is the 800-lb. gorilla in the room
and Chairman [George] Miller is deeply involved in those discussions,”
said Aaron Albright. “But the Chairman said it is a priority and he’s
committed to doing it early this year.”
Once out of committee,
Frank said the legislation had enough support in the House to survive a
procedural move -- known as a “motion to recommit” -- that might be
targeted at stripping out the transgender protections. If such a motion
were to pass, the bill would most likely be voted on in its amended form unless Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose to pull the bill, which is very rare.
Frank reiterated, as he has said all along, that the biggest hurdle would be the Senate.
“Getting 60 votes for it is going to be tough,” he said, “so people need to focus on lobbying Senators.”
Keisling expressed cautious optimism about prospects for passage in the Senate.
“Could I name you 60 for the senate right now, that would be a stretch,” she said. “But the most important way we can put pressure on the Senate is by passing this in the House.”