Rep. Jared Polis: ENDA will pass the House this spring, ‘It’s just a scheduling matter’

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.

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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