For the past couple weeks, we’d been hearing that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was going to be reintroduced in the U.S. House.
We didn’t get all that excited considering there’s no hope ENDA will pass this year. Last year, there was hope. Lots of hope. And, we were repeatedly led to believe that the bill was going to have a House vote at any time. Yet, we didn’t even get a House committee vote. So, yeah, it’s good that the bill is being reintroduced.
Then, a not-so-funny thing happened at the big press conference to announce the reintroduction of the bill. It wasn’t introduced after all:
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced on Wednesday that he’s prepared to unveil the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for the 112th Congress but is still in the process of obtaining additional co-sponsors before formally introducing the bill.
During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Frank said the upcoming introduction of ENDA would help educate lawmakers and the public about the bill as he continued to express skepticism that it would advance with Republicans in control of the House.
Nothing surprises me anymore.
The national groups all sent out their perfunctory press releases marking the press conference to announce the ENDA introduction that didn’t happen. Lots of our friends have weighed in on what this all means. Bil Browning, Jillian Weiss, Scott Wooledge, David Badash. Over at Bilerico, former Hill Staffer Tico Almeida is writing a three-part series on what needs to be done to pass ENDA.
Clearly, something went wrong last year with ENDA. During the effort to repeal DADT, we got all kinds of helpful information to move the debate along. We would have done the same thing for ENDA, but nothing like that happened. There was a very tightly-held, closed group that working on ENDA. We just kept hearing that the vote was coming and it was under control. Not really. There have been all kinds of excuses and explanations given for why ENDA didn’t move last year. But, I’m still not sure what really happened.
And, the ways things are starting this year, doesn’t give me much confidence. That, and the fact the GOP controls the House now.