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Centrist Democrats Balking at ENDA Vote

Centrist Democrats Balking at ENDA Vote


As pressure increases for a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this month, some moderate Democrats are concerned that a show of support for the transgender-inclusive legislation could hurt their reelection prospects.

According to The Hill,"The bill scares centrist Democrats, who don't want to be forced to vote on a hot-button issue popular on the left as they approach November congressional elections in which heavy Democratic losses are expected."

In 2007 a version of ENDA without transgender protections won support from some centrists and passed the House in a bipartisan vote of 235 to 184.

"The Democratic whip's office has circulated an e-mail asking members if they'd support a version of the non-discrimination act that includes the transgender protection and if they'd oppose an anticipated motion to recommit that would water down or strike that provision," reported The Hill.

Some Republicans who supported the bill in 2007 said they would not support the transgender-inclusive bill this year, while dozens of Democrats who supported the 2007 bill have not signed on as cosponsors this year.

Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the bill's chief sponsor, remains confident that it will pass, although its fate in the Senate remains uncertain. The Senate did not vote on ENDA after it passed the House in 2007.

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