So, ENDA is (almost) reintroduced in the House

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.


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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