This isn’t the United States of Extremist Christianity? It seems, Georgia freshman Representative Rick Allen thinks so. He kicked off the GOP’s policy meeting in one of the capitol’s many sub-basement rooms reading an anti-gay lesbian, bisexual,and transgender (LGBT) Bible verse.
Allen is calling out a whole lot of Republicans as sinners, because they voted to back an anti-discrimination proposal. In doing so, he offended more than a few of his fellow Republicans. They walked out.
According to The Hill, one of the GOP representatives, who voted for the LGBT provision said:
‘It was f—ing ridiculous.’
An aide to one of the GOP members agreed:
‘A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset.’
Democratic Representative of New York Sean Patrick Maloney sponsored the provision to remove anti-LGBT language from spending bills. The uber-conservative Republicans have been attaching that language to spending bills. That wording could crash the spending bills, including military spending by circumventing the president’s executive order against discrimination by government contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The provision is part of a military construction bill that garnered enough Republican votes to pass, but the GOP leadership worked to undermine it by holding the vote open and pressuring Republicans to change their vote. The measure finally failed in a 213 to 212 vote, even though 29 Republicans voted against their own party.
This week Maloney attached his amendment to an energy spending bill, and this time, 43 Republicans joined the Democrats. The bill passed 223 to 195 late Wednesday.
Were Democrats playing games by insisting on the Maloney amendment, then killing a broader bill after it was attached? South Carolina Republican Representative Mick Mulvaney had this to say about the vote Thursday:
‘This is not about LGBT rights. It’s about shipwrecking the appropriations process.’
On the other hand, Democrats accuse Republicans of insisting Maloney’s discriminatory language is included. California’s representative, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said:
‘House Republicans’ thirst to discriminate against the LGBT community is so strong that they are willing to vote down their own appropriations bill in order to prevent progress over bigotry.’
Once the amendment was added to an energy bill, 130 Republicans voted against it with a 112 to 305 defeat. Only six Democrats supported it.
The LGBT language has plagued Republicans throughout the appropriations process, because it has been undermining a number of spending bills.
Oh sure, blame the Democrats for shipwrecking the appropriations bill.
Thursday both House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Allen declined to comment.
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