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Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly ENDA Update: Could A House Vote Be Next Week?

U.S. Representative George Miller, Democrat of California's 7th Congressional District, is the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and a supporter of H.R. 3017, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He will be presiding over the mark up of the ENDA bill this Wednesday at 10 am. You can view it at the Committee's website (see Live Webcast on the top right).

But ENDA could also be left until February, as recent comments by Congressman Frank suggest. I have also heard from someone in the know that the Senate may be in no rush to consider the bill, and might also be in slowdown mode, with markup in March and a vote in June.

That would put the ENDA Senate vote in the midst of midterm election campaigns, making support of the measure into a vulnerability for Senators up for re-election. The fragile coalition-building that has been going on in the Senate with the more conservative members of Congress is more likely to collapse in the heat of a likely-to-be very dirty, mudslinging election in which the Republicans struggle to gain a toehold in the most conservative parts of the country. That would increase the chances of ENDA dying in the Senate.

What will control the timing here, and how can we make it sooner, rather than later?

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