Monday, November 04, 2013

HISTORY! Senate Cloture Vote on ENDA Succeeds 61-30

As expected, the United States Senate was able to achieve cloture on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by a vote of 61-30. This means that it is very likely that the measure will pass the body when that vote is taken in few days.

The Washington Blade reports:
By a vote of 61-30, senators invoked cloture on the legislation as Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) presided. The vote enables up to 30 hours of debate and amendments before a vote for final passage, which is expected Wednesday.
Joining 54 sponsors of the bill in voting for ENDA, whose chief sponsor is Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), on the Democratic side were Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who previously articulated support for ENDA. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), an ENDA co-sponsor, didn’t vote.
On the Republican side, additional votes came from Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Other votes came from Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who voted for the bill in committee, and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who previously articulated support earlier in the day. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who also voted for ENDA in committee, didn’t vote.
Including the Republican original co-sponsors of ENDA — Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) — the bill had seven Republicans votes. As he indicated he would, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted “no” after entering the Senate following [openly lesbian] Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), apparently after a conversation with her.
It will be interesting if all 7 of the Republicans who voted in favor of invoking cloture will also vote in favor of the actual legislation. One can make the argument that one was just in favor of the measure going forward for debate on the Senate floor (that's what cloture means) without actually supporting the measure itself but I dpoubt that most Republican Senators constituents would be forgiving of such apostasy.

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

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