Posts Tagged As: Joe Pitts

Updated: The House May Have Passed the LGBT Amendment, But They Defeated The Larger Bill

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2016

The House rejected a appropriations bill for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers, Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation and several other commissions. The huge $37.4 billion spending bill went down 112-305. Dems lined up against the measure, citing such poison pill provisions as amendment targeting the Iran nuclear deal and prohibiting the Obama administration from revoking Title IX funds previously appropriated for North Carolina and Mississippi over those states’ anti-trans bathroom bills. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) was among those voting against the bill:

Ultimately, though, Maloney said he voted ‘no’ on the Energy-Water bill, which included his LGBT anti-discrimination amendment. He pointed to a subsequent amendment by Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.,   which prohibits the Obama administration from blocking North Carolina from receiving federal funds in retaliation to its transgender bathroom law. That measure was adopted 227-192.

“I wasn’t about to support the Pittenger amendment … having fought all week to get workplace protections,” Maloney said. “We won the vote last night. That’s an important victory. It shows there is a majority in the House that supports work place protection.”

Update:  Politico adds this bit of inside baseball:

Some GOP lawmakers were furious over Rep. Rick Allen’s (R-Ga.) comments on the LGBT issue at a GOP Conference meeting prior to the vote.

Allen read a passage from the Bible and questioned whether members would violate their religious principles if they supported the bill.

But moderate Republicans were stunned by Allen’s remarks, and some walked out of the meeting in protest, according to GOP lawmakers.

“A good number of members were furious,” said one Republican, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “There was some Scripture that was read and the like … Nothing good was going to happen to those that supported [the LGBT provision.] A good number of members were furious.”

An amendment offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) added a line saying that Maloney’s provision, which restored Obama’s Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, would not conflict with “the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.” The hope was that this caveat would reassure more conservative members of the caucus. But this morning, those conservatives informed leadership that they would not support the appropriations bill with Maloney’s amendment attached. Those conservatives said that GOP leadership never should have allowed Maloney’s amendment to be vote on in the first place. Meanwhile, Democrats also abandoned the bill over the Title IX amendment and other provisions targeting climate change science and withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities.”

House Finally Passes LGBT Anti-Discrimination Measure

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2016

Remember that amendment that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) tried to attach to veterans spending bill last week that would uphold President Obama’s Executive Order requiring federal contractors to maintain anti-discrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity? Remember that he tried to attach that amendment because Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) had inserted a provision that would have overturned Obama’s Executive Order? And remember how House GOP leaders went through extra lengths — even going so far as to openly break their own House rules to do it — to see Maloney’s amendment defeated?

Well, the House has approved Maloney’s measure as an amendment to an Energy Department appropriations bill. The vote was 223-195 late Wednesday night. Forty-three Republicans joined all voting Democrats to support the amendment. According to The Hill:

Republicans were more prepared this time for Maloney’s amendment since it was clear ahead of time that it would come up for a vote. Last week’s vote, meanwhile, came with little warning, which resulted in GOP leaders partaking in the last-minute arm-twisting.

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) offered a counter-amendment so that Maloney’s proposal would be modified by stating that no funds could be used in contravention of the LGBT executive order except as “required by the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.”

“Does anyone in this chamber seriously oppose Article I of the constitution, the First Amendment, or the 14th Amendment?” Pitts asked.

Maloney allowed Pitts’s amendment to pass by voice vote, saying that he had no objection to simply stating adherence to the Constitution.

“What do you say we abide by the whole Constitution? The part that tries to make it more progressive, more inclusive of people like me, of people of color, of women, of people who were shut out when it was written. How about we include the whole Constitution? Can we do that?” Maloney said.

All seven Republicans who switched their vote last week wound up voting for Maloney’s amendment.

Earlier that evening, the House approved an amendment from Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) which prohibits the Obama administration from revoking Title IX funds previously appropriated for North Carolina over the state’s anti-trans bathroom bill.

The whole bill goes before the House on Thursday, and will need to be reconciled with the Senate version which does not include Maloney’s amendment.

Heulskamp introduces his Federal Marriage Amendment

Timothy Kincaid

July 1st, 2013

Tim Huelskamp (R – KS) has, as threatened, introduced his Federal Marriage Amendment:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Considering that a number of states have enacted marriage equality either through the legislature or the ballot box, this language seems a bit confusing. But as this amendment has about the same chances as an ice cube on a Vegas sidewalk, I guess language is irrelevant.

And Huelskamp is not alone in his clown car. Squeezing in with him are a collection of nobodies hoping to attain a little attention. No Democrats, of course, but about 12% of the House Republicans were happy to plan for a future of political shame and awkward questions from their grandchildren.

Joe Barton (Texas), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), John Fleming (La.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Ralph Hall (Texas), Andy Harris (Md.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Sam Johnson (Texas), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), James Lankford (Okla.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Steven Palazzo (Miss.), Stevan Pearce (N.M.), Robert Pittenger (N.C.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), David Schweikert (Ariz.), Bill Shuster (Pa.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Steve Stockman (Texas), Tim Walberg (Mich.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and Frank Wolf (Va.)

GOP Reps. React To Marriage Decisions

Jim Burroway

June 26th, 2013

In case you don’t want to watch the video, here’s a non-transcript rendition of what they said:

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): Unelected judges.

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA): Popular laws = Constitutional. Unpopular laws = Unconstitutional.

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA): Thank you Boehner for defending it. Negative consequences for children.

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ): We the people have final say, not unelected courts. Courts got Federalism wrong.

Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI): Desires of adults not more important than needs of children. “Society itself is at risk and cannot continue.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA): Marriage has been debased. Why vote? It doesn’t stop here. Churches will be forced to do things they are against.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX): Court is in collusion with Obama at the expense of children. One more attack on religious institutions.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): This is not a hateful group. We love the U.S.A. It’s all Obama’s fault. Holder lied. The Court (“the new holy quintet”) lied. Dishonesty, inconsistency. King Solomon!

Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN): Limited government. Denied equal protection to every American in the United States. No more co-equal branches, but Supreme Court over all. Oligarchy of five. Limited government. Decision belies the constitution. “The people will have their sway.” Equal protection again. No jurisdiction. Foundational unit of society. Created by God. Supreme Court have not risen to the level of God.

Rep. Tim Huelscamp (R-KS): Narrow radical majority. Think of the children.

Congressmen file amicus in support of DC’s anti-gays

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2010

Two Senators and 37 members of the House (all Republicans) have filed an amicus brief in support of anti-gay activists who are suing to put marriage equality to a vote in the District of Columbia.

Their official reason is some mumble-jumble about serving “as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule”. But their basic beef comes down to, “When we said that DC residents could make their own decisions, we didn’t mean that they could make choices that we don’t like!!”

Relatedly, last night I saw GOP Party Chairman Michael Steele, arguing on Fox that Democrats are taking away the ability of people to live their lives the way they want… and using DC’s marriage law as example. I’m paraphrasing, but it seemed like he was arguing that DC residents were losing individual freedom because they were not free to vote on what their neighbors could do. Truly, it was an example of someone totally confused about the idea of personal liberty and individual freedom.

The good news is that these congressmen are only a small percentage of the Senate and the House and are even a minority in their own party (twenty years ago you’d have nearly all of the members of both parties). This is not to say that other Republicans would necessarily support marriage equality, but perhaps that they didn’t feel the need to identify themselves with the extremist right-wing caucus of Republicans who never lose an opportunity to attack the rights, freedom, and equality of gay people.

In a way, they did us a favor. We now have a nice list of the most extreme of the extreme. And while I didn’t see any surprises on the list (perhaps our readers might), it’s nice to have a compilation of equality’s biggest opponents all in one place.


James Inhofe (Okla.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)


Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio)
Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.)
Robert Aderholt (Ala.)
Todd Akin (Mo.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
J. Gresham Barrett (S.C.)
Roscoe Bartlett (Md.)
Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
John Boozman (Ark.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
John Fleming (La.)
J. Randy Forbes (Va.)
Virginia Foxx (N.C.)
Scott Garrett (N.J.)
Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
Louie Gohmert (Tex.)
Jeb Hensarling (Tex.)
Wally Herger (Calif.)
Walter Jones (N.C.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Steve King (Iowa)
Jack Kingston (Ga.)
John Kline (Minn.)
Doug Lamborn (Colo.)
Robert Latta (Ohio)
Don Manzullo (Ill.)
Michael McCaul (Tex.)
Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.)
Patrick McHenry (N.C.)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)
Jeff Miller (Fla.)
Jerry Moran (Kan.)
Randy Neugebauer (Tex.)
Mike Pence (Ind.)
Joe Pitts (Pa.)
Mark Souder (Ind.)
Todd Tiahrt (Kan.)

Feel free to walk precincts, call volunteers, work get-out-the-vote, or contribute to the campaigns of their primary and general opponents as much as possible.

Rachel Maddow: Should US Politicians Try To Stop The “Kill Gays” Bill?

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2009

Rachel Maddow last night reviewed the role that Rick Warren has played in Uganda, including his siding with the Ugandan Anglican Church against the U.S. Episcopal Church over the ordination of gay clergy and bishops even though Warren’s background is Baptist.

Maddow also reviewed the role that several U.S. politicians — specifically Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) — in their own meddling in Uganda’s political affairs, mostly in changing Uganda’s previously successful fight against AIDS by insisting on abstinence only education. These politicians, it should be noted, are also all members of the secretive Evangelical group The Family, which seeks to “take over” (in Family leader Doug Coe’s words) the political, business and other power spheres around the world in a sort of “trickle down” national salvation plan, as opposed to focusing on individual salvation that is at the core of orthodox Christianity.

Rachel’s panel last night consisted of Congressman Anthony Wiener (D-NY); Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University; and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. She asked them a very pertinent question:

“Is it reasonable to expect that American politicians who have been, frankly, pretty interventionist in Uganda in the past, should be trying to stop the ‘kill the gays’ bill there?”

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.


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