Bill giving benefits to domestic partners of federal employees passed House Committee tonight

As noted below, Kerry Eleveld live-tweeted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s mark-up of H.R. 2517, the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act. The Committee did pass the legislation earlier tonight. Here’s Kerry’s report:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday voted 23-12 to pass the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, which would extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal government workers.

The bill is now likely to move to a full House floor vote, which many anticipate could take place before the end of the year.

“Last I talked to the majority leader who sets the floor schedule, he was hopeful that it could get fairly prompt attention by the full House,” said out congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who is the lead sponsor of the bill in the House.

So a House vote this year. Even before ENDA.

NOTE FROM JOHN: I’m still curious how this comports with DOMA. And let’s not forget – the gay legal groups, earlier this year, tried to meet with the Obama administration to discuss how to provide these kind of benefits to the partners of gay employees, how it could be done even within the confines of DOMA, and the administration refused to even meet with them. So while it’s nice that Berry is now all behind the House effort, let’s not forget, the administration wasn’t willing to lift a finger on this very issue just several months ago.


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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