After House Republicans scrambled to defeat a Democratic proposal to protect federal workers from being fired on the basis of sexual discrimination or gender identity, Democrats brought the proposal back late Wednesday night and the measure passed.
The vote was 223-195 with 43 Republicans voting for the amendment. It will be attached to an annual spending bill for energy and water programs. A final vote on the broader funding bill is slated for Thursday.
Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney introduced his proposal, which he said was “to redo a mistake” last week on a proposal “to end discrimination in federal contracting.”
During last Thursday’s vote, the House floor erupted in jeers from Democrats after the vote board showed the LGBT amendment had the votes to pass, but GOP leaders kept the vote open and convinced several members to switch their votes to defeat the proposal. Republicans argued they didn’t want it to pass because it was an amendment to the annual military construction and veterans spending bill, and could have jeopardized support for that legislation.
On Wednesday night, Republicans added language to Maloney’s proposal that required that federal contractors must comply with several sections of the U.S. Constitution. But Maloney shrugged off the change and again argued the substance of his plan remained the same and the second vote on Wednesday was to show Congress’ views on LGBT rights.
“The American people want to know that their government is on the level,” Maloney said on the House floor.