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Why Boehner’s Automatic No on ENDA is Ridiculous

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Will the President Move on ENDA Even if Congress Can’t?

In an interesting, and somewhat related development, there appears to be a softening from the White House on signing an executive order to mimic ENDA until the House is in a better shape to pass the legislation.

Until now President Obama has remained firm that he supports only legislative action, suggesting that to sign an executive order would not really be a solution and would in fact undercut future legislative efforts. For this stance, Obama has earned widespread criticism that he is allowing LGBT federal workers to continue to suffer employment discrimination when a remedy is within easy reach. Despite this, the White House had remained firm. Until now.

Asked on Monday, November 4, about ENDA, White House spokesperson Jay Careny reportedly said:

“What we’ve said about this is two things,” Carney said. “One, the preferable and better path has been through Congress because that would be inclusive. An executive order that addresses federal contractors obviously would not be inclusive; it would not extend beyond federal contracts. So, we’re focused on getting ENDA through Congress. When I used to answer questions about an executive order by saying that, there was great skepticism that it would get this far, and we have come to a moment where quite likely, in fact possible, that the Senate will pass this, so we’re going to keep pressing ahead.”

The Washington Blade pressed Carney as to whether the President is open, then, to signing the order in the near term. Carney would not be drawn on that matter, but the language here is markedly softer than in previous comments and would seem to suggest that, if Democratic lawmakers cannot find enough Republican support in the House to get around Boehner’s stonewalling, the White House might use this as an interim measure while, at the same time, being able to squeeze political gain out of it.

Boehner’s intransigence on this issue doesn’t just put him out of step with liberals or the mainstream, it actually throws him far beyond majority Republican opinion on this issue and will no doubt feature as part of the 2014 Congressional elections where Democratic lawmakers hope to gain back the House majority.

The irony of this is that Boehner need only get out of his own way in order to let the issue play out, he need not oppose the legislation and could simply let the votes fall where they may, but so entrenched is his “Party of No” stance that, sadly, it seems to have become almost automatic.

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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

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90 comments

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9:13AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Joeseph B. "Goebbels" -- I agree, let's likewise give businesses more protection for discriminating against hiring Blacks, Women, Asians, Jews, Muslims.... We as a nation certainly wouldn't want to persecute the upstanding bigots that want nothing to do with these races, genders, and religious bents. So yes, let's not accomodate the devious agendas of the non-white, non-christian, non-male population, and let's have our government keep them under our thumb -- afterall we are the majority, right? Why should we accomodate "them"?

I'm also with you on "choice". Choice should be the rule so that everyone can choose for themselves whether or not to: go to school -- pay taxes -- follow traffic laws -- comply with the Constitution -- buy insurance of any type -- obey civil laws - etc. Who wants to follow others' agendas anyhow -- damn everyone else's view of America and of the world, right?

However, it is curious how, as you say, "Bohnner is seeing the big picture!" so clearly....when his head is stuck every bit as far up his ass as yours is up yours.

9:36AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Joseph B, do you also think it should be OK for businesses to discriminate against single mothers? After all, according to some religious beliefs sex outside of marriage is a sin and hiring such a sinner would be promoting and/or accommodating that kind of lifestyle.

3:49AM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Remember when every month boehner would ask President Obama: "Where are the jobs?" While at the same time he would lead the republinos into cutting government jobs, including school teacher, fire fighters, and police forces, and then ultimately closing the government and threatening our debt payments. This guy is a real piece of work and is a leader in name only.

11:50PM PST on Nov 10, 2013

This guy is a total waste, a leader of the losers!

8:08PM PST on Nov 10, 2013

No Bohnner is seeing the big picture! There are not enough protections for businesses that do not according to their Religion do not desire to hire Gays, Transgenders or Transvestites etc!
Indeed, ENDA is a lisence to persecute those that want nothing to do with these life styles and Bohnner is correct to oppose it!
I don't care what is done behind closed doors but keep it out of the work place and respect those that do not want to promote these lifestyles or accommodate them!
Choice should be the rule- It is for abortion, Then why not those that oppose the Gay agenda as well?

4:43PM PST on Nov 10, 2013

Can't stand this MORON. He and Sarah Palin should shack up--it's be one cold shagging after another.

6:45AM PST on Nov 10, 2013

I detest Boehner. If he allowed a vote on ENDA, it would pass. How can one man hold an entire country hostage? Witness his refusal to act during the government shutdown. Nobody should be allowed to have that much power. Something must be done to stop him, and quickly!

1:18AM PST on Nov 10, 2013

I wouldn’t dispute that a vast majority of people disapprove of employment discrimination. That is not the issue relative to ENDA, however. A careful reading of the bill brings to light some provisions within it that are problematical as “The devil is in the details,” as the saying goes.

8:19PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Noted

1:20PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Fmb

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