Lieberman Ready to Move on Partner Benefits Bill

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 20 2010 2:05 PM ET

A bill extending benefits to same-sex partners of gay federal employees could be introduced on the Senate floor “within weeks,” according to aides to Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

The Washington Post reports that the benefits would cost $310 million through 2020, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Though some Republicans have criticized the legislation due to its potential cost, Lieberman said Tuesday, “This legislation would cost about two-hundredths of a percent of the federal government’s overall costs for the civilian workforce. That is a very small price to pay for the improvements we would see in recruitment, retention, and morale."

A House committee approved a similar a domestic-partner benefits bill in November, though the legislation has yet to receive a floor vote.

Last year President Barack Obama signed a memorandum extending certain benefits to partners of federal employees, though the most substantive benefits, such as most types of health care, were excluded.

Lieberman’s bill is expected to be introduced before July 4.