As the Senate prepares to vote on (and looks likely to pass) the Employment Non-Discrimination Act later today, its chances in the House are looking particularly bleak. Today House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated his opposition to the legislation, the Huffington Post reports:
"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.
The remark from Steel is a tough blow for supporters of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
…And with Boehner coming out in opposition, it seems unlikely that it would even get a vote.
Boehner had previously side-stepped questions about the law, suggesting that new statutes were unnecessary in light of the growing cultural acceptance of gays and lesbians.
Last week Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that she envisioned a path to passage of ENDA similar to that of the Violence Against Women Act. Of course, that all depends on whether the measure even gets consideration.
President Obama urged both houses of Congress to pass the bill in an op-ed at the Huffington Post last night.
White House Press Secretary also indicated last week that a successful vote in the Senate would not change Obama's thinking on issuing an executive order against LGBT workplace discrimination.
Said Carney to the Washington Blade:
“I think that what I would say is that we have long believed that legislation, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that would enshrine these protections into law is the right way to go. You and I have this discussion periodically over the year, and that’s still our view. I’m not going to prejudge what’s going to happen in Congress. What I can tell you is that it’s come further than I think some people expected a year ago, and we want to continue to see that progress in Congress.”