GOP Congresswoman Throws Cold Water on ENDA ‘Discharge Petition’

Advocates have long suggested that a discharge petition, used when a committee leader refuses to bring a measure up for consideration, is the only way to move ENDA forward in the House of Representatives, but at least one GOP sponsor says that won't be happening, the Washington Blade reports:

RoslehtinenRep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), an original co-sponsor of ENDA in the U.S. House, said through a spokesperson that she would not sign a discharge petition to force House leadership to move the bill to the floor.

“Rep. Ros-Lehtinen will not be signing a discharge petition as it is a partisan political tool,” said Keith Fernandez, a Ros-Lehtinen spokesperson.

The Washington Blade reached out to all seven Republican co-sponsors of ENDA in the U.S. House to ask whether they’d be willing to sign a discharge petition, but Ros-Lehtinen’s office was the only one that responded. In addition to Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican co-sponsors are Reps. Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Michael Coffman (Colo.) and Chris Gibson (N.Y.).

ENDA discussion picked up this week after Vice President Joe Biden told the Huffington Post that he sees no downside in the President signing an executive order protecting LGBT people in the workplace.


  1. james st. james says

    She is a Republican first, not a gay advocate. Given any other decent choice gay voters should not support her.

    The other Republicans who did not respond considered the question absolutely ridiculous. Of course they won’t promote gay civil rights. Let’s just hope that THAT political stand does not bear fruit in the upcoming elections.

  2. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “She is a Republican first, not a gay advocate.”

    Bingo. By refusing to sign what she calls a partisan political tool, she is being a partisan political tool.

  3. Howard B says

    Playing devils advocate, can you imagine what her enemies would do to her if she voted with the Dem’s to push through an agenda that her party is dead set against? How long do you think she’d last after the right wing talk machine got through with her?

  4. KingQueen says

    Always count on a heterosexual to call a a human rights issue a ‘political issue’ or a ‘political tool’ or something less HUMAN. You know, to cloak dismissive prejudice.

  5. Jim says

    Well, at least she answered the question. The other 6 Republican co-sponsors didn’t do even that. So much for courageous leadership in the GOP.