Karen Ocamb caught up with Rep. Jared Polis at a Stonewall Democrats event in Los Angeles. And, she got some good info.:
KO: Where are we on ENDA?
JP: We have the votes to pass ENDA in the House and we hope to bring it before the committee I serve on – the Education Labor Committee – within the month – by the end of April. And then, once it passes the committee, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks – a week or two – to schedule it for the floor. It’s just a scheduling matter.
We think we would have passed it by now if it wasn’t for healthcare taking up much of the workload of our committee.
I don’t know about the Senate – but in the House, we expect to pass out substantially. It has substantial support. The Senate requires 60 votes so it’s a matter of getting some Republican moderates to support it.
KO: Will Obama use bully pulpit and will you nudge him along on ENDA?
JP: I think President Obama played a constructive role in helping bring hate crimes to his desk and I think he’ll play a similar role in helping to get ENDA to his desk.
I think we’ll all be more than pleasantly surprised if Obama plays a constructive role to get ENDA onto his desk. I’m not counting on it.
Meanwhile, on the issue that Obama did push in his State of the Union address, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year, Polis wasn’t as optimistic about getting a vote:
KO: What About Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
JP: I certainly advocate repealing it as soon as possible. There’s many other people in the House who feel that way. We’re up to close to 190 co-sponsors of Patrick Murphy’s bill to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I think the sooner we repeal it the better. It’s the military’s position that they want to complete the study first.
Actually, it was Defense Secretary Gates who said he doesn’t want legislation until the study is completed. He works for Barack Obama. Actually, the entire military is under the command of Barack Obama. In the United States, we’re supposed to have civilian control.