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Thu May 19, 2016, 02:47 PM

House erupts into chaos after LGBT protection amendment narrowly fails [View all]

Source: CBS News

By/ Rebecca Shabad/ CBS News/ May 19, 2016, 1:29 PM

The House floor erupted Thursday into a tense, chaotic situation after an amendment to protect members of the LGBT community failed several seconds after it looked like it had enough votes to pass.

The amendment from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-New York, would have barred federal contracts to companies that discriminate against LGBT employees. It was an attempt to undo a provision inside a major defense bill the House passed a night earlier that would reverse President Obama's executive order extending anti-discrimination protections to federal contractors' LGBT employees. Democrats warned the provision will allow any federal contractor to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Maloney's amendment narrowly failed Thursday 212-213 after it looked like it was going to pass 217-206 a few seconds earlier. Republican leaders held open the vote and Democrats say Republicans twisted arms, pressuring members of their conference to switch their votes so that it would fail. ... "Shame, shame, shame!" Democrats chanted on the House floor as Republicans changed their votes.

After it failed, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, appeared visibly angry and spoke on the floor, pointing out he never saw any Republicans come to the front of the chamber to change their votes. ... "I was standing in the well and no one came and no one had the courage to come into the well to change their vote, but notwithstanding that, the vote kept changing. Mr. Speaker, from a parliamentary perspective, how is that possible?" Hoyer said. ... According to an aide to Hoyer, Republicans kept the vote open so that lawmakers could change their vote from their seats without approaching the front of the chamber.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-erupts-into-chaos-after-lgbt-protection-amendment-narrowly-fails/

May 19, 2016, 12:19 pm
Chaos in House after GOP votes down LGBT measure

By Cristina Marcos and Mike Lillis

The House floor devolved into chaos and shouting on Thursday as a measure to ensure protections for members of the LGBT community narrowly failed to pass after Republican leaders urged their members to change their votes.

Initially, it appeared Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's (D-N.Y.) amendment had passed, as 217 "yes" votes piled up over 206 "no" votes when the clock ran out. The measure needed 213 votes to pass.

But it eventually failed on a 212-213 vote after a number of Republican lawmakers changed their votes from "yes" to "no" after the clock had expired.

GOP leaders held the vote open as they pressured members to change sides. Infuriating Democrats, they let lawmakers switch their votes without walking to the well at the front of the chamber.

Twenty-nine Republicans voted for Maloney's amendment to a spending bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction projects, along with all Democrats in the final roll call.

House turns into battleground over LGBT rights

By Karoun Demirjian May 19 at 2:22 PM

The House floor is turning into an emotional, and at times ugly, battleground over LGBT rights, as Democrats accuse Republicans of promoting bigotry and discrimination over proposals GOP leaders say are intended to protect freedom of religion from government overreach.

The conflict erupted on Thursday when Republican leaders successfully whipped their members to vote down a Democratic amendment that sought to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay contractors that discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The proposal, authored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), appeared on the cusp of being adopted as the vote came to a close, but at the last minute six Republican members switched their votes and the amendment was defeated on a 212-to-213 vote. ... Outraged Democrats shouted “shame” and accused Republican leaders of abusing chamber rules by holding the vote open until they could twist enough arms to kill the amendment.

“They literally snatched discrimination out of the jaws of equality,” Maloney said. “We won this vote.” ... Maloney told reporters that when he saw House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “personally twisting arms on the floor,” he asked him to let the vote conclude only to be told to “to get back on my own side” of the aisle.

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