Harry Reid “wholeheartedly supports” ENDA

As I noted below, there are currently 38 sponsors of the newly introduced Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t a sponsor. I know he’s supportive of LGBT equality, so I checked with his office to find out if there’s a reason he’s not listed as a sponsor. There is a valid explanation. As Majority Leader, Reid rarely sponsors bills. There are exceptions for emergency legislation. But, as a rule, he doesn’t. His office did confirm, “he wholeheartedly supports the bill, will vote for it and will fight hard for the votes to get it passed.”

So, in the Senate, that gives us 39 confirmed supporters, including the Majority Leader.

The Senate voted on ENDA (sexual orientation only) in 1996. The roll call for that vote is here. You’ll see several of the Democrats who voted yes in 1996 are still serving, but haven’t cosponsored the 2009 bill including: Baucus (MT), Conrad (ND), Dorgan (ND) and Kohl (WI). That’s not to say they’ll vote yes this time, but they are on-the-record.

The only Democrat who voted no in 1996 still serving is Robert Byrd from West Virginia (but, he rarely votes these days.) Besides Snowe and Specter, none of the Republicans who voted yes are still around.

We’re starting to narrow down our Senate targets.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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