Key allies of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.), including the leader of the GOP House’s political operation, voted with Democrats, to codify President Barack Obama’s proscription against federal contractors, who make employment decisions based on sexual orientation or lifestyle.
The amendment passed 223 to 195 May 25, 2016, at 11:53 p.m.
Twelve hours later, Republicans roused the full bill to the floor for a quick death, 112 to 305.
The author of this legislative madness was an upstate New York congressman, but the willingness of Republicans to join him have conservatives on Capitol Hill and outside the Beltway seriously questioning if the House Republican leadership is sincerely sympathetic to the Democratic gender and orientation politics—or are they just incompetent.
“I want to thank the bipartisan group of reps who came together to support my amendment to protect #LGBT Americans from discrimination, tweeted Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D.-N.Y.), who filed his amendment onto the $37.5 billion Energy and Water Development appropriations bill.
“To think that 43 Republicans would join President Obama to promote transgenderism and force the marginalization of our Christian beliefs is appalling, said Penny Nance, the CEO and president of Concerned Women of America. “You can rest assure that the effects of this vote will continue to be felt as we move forward.”
The leader of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio) told Breitbart the role of the government is to protect freedom.
“This is exactly what is wrong with Washington,” he said. “A bill that is supposed to fund infrastructure projects becomes a vehicle for attacking religious liberty, and leaders elected to protect taxpayer dollars continue to bust budgets and increase spending like there’s no tomorrow.”
The Ohio congressman said there is a disconnect between Capitol Hill and America.
“Everyone in America knows that we need to get spending under control, and they know that the government needs to protect the religious liberty of all Americans,” he said. “The only ones who don’t seem to understand those basic facts are the politicians in Washington.”
Voting to pass the Maloney Amendment were Republicans, including Rep. Greg Walden (R.-Oregon), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, five members of Speaker Ryan’s Steering Committee, such at Rep. Fred Upton (R.-Mich.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee.
“After all of the division last week, it’s refreshing to see so many friends, colleagues from both sides of the aisle support equality,” the congressman said.
Maloney tried in the previous week to amend the Veterans Affairs Department with the same amendment, but the effort failed after Republicans held the vote open beyond the allotted time and persuaded a handful of GOP congressmen to change their votes.
The congressman, whose district includes the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, then filed his amendment onto H.R. 5055, Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which was a package of water projects for the Army Corps of Engineers, management of the Strategic Oil Reserve, and a collection of green energy pork projects and subsidies.
Nance said, “Due to the disruptive and abrupt insertion of the Maloney Amendment, we are very pleased that this bill has been soundly defeated. It sends a strong message that we have a good group of members who will stand up for children and women’s safety and for religious liberty.”
The full bill was managed by Rep. Michael Simpson (R.-Idaho), the chairman of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, but his office deferred comment to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.)
Rogers said: “H.R. 5055 is an extremely good bill that reflects conservative priorities – funding our national security, investing in necessary infrastructure, and standing against the Obama Administration’s job-killing regulatory agenda.”
Interestingly, Rogers was upset the bill failed.
“I’m very disappointed that this bill could not clear the House today, but I remain dedicated to working this bill and all other appropriations bills through regular order – through the committee, through the Congress, and to the President’s desk,” he said.
Heritage Action, the political wing of the Heritage Foundation put it this way: “Even as modified, the inclusion of the Maloney amendment further ratifies an overreaching executive order issued by President Obama in 2014, which threatens religious liberty and personal privacy for private institutions who may contract with the federal government.”