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Hullabaloo


Thursday, May 19, 2016

 
Banana Republic split

by digby



















I have a feeling we're going to see more of this:


The House erupted in chaos Thursday morning with Democrats crying foul after Republicans hastily convinced a few of their own to switch their votes and narrowly block an amendment intended to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination. It was an unruly scene on the floor, with Democrats chanting "shame!" after GOP leaders just barely muscled up the votes to reject, 212-213, an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would have effectively barred federal contractors from getting government work if they discriminate against the LGBT community. 
At one point, a monitor in the House gallery showed there were 217 votes supporting the legislation, eliciting cheers of joy from Democrats who thought the measure might actually pass. But over the course of about 10 minutes, those votes suddenly dropped one by one to 212 — and the amendment failed. 
A number of lawmakers from western states, who originally voted yes, changed their votes. According to a list tweeted out an hour after the vote by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) office, they included: Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Greg Walden (Ore.), Mimi Walters (Calif.), David Yong (Iowa) and Bruce Poliquin (Maine). Their offices have not yet responded to request for comment. 
Amendment author Maloney was furious with Republicans for how they handled the floor fight over his offering. He singled out Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in particular for criticism, saying the number two House Republican personally lobbied GOP members to change their votes when it looked like Maloney's proposal would pass. "The leader [McCarthy] went around and twisted their arms, and they voted for discrimination," Maloney said. When Maloney complained directly to McCarthy, he said the majority leader told him "to get back on your own side." 
 "The members who switched are going to hold a very special place in American history as the people who didn't have the guts to stand up and support the will of the House," Maloney said off the chamber floor after the vote. "They literally snatched discrimination out of the jaws of equality." A GOP aide on the floor at the time said Maloney was actually the instigator, telling POLITICO that he came over to the Republican side and was angrily taunting conservatives for their votes. 
Republicans are saying privately that if the amendment had passed it would have killed the appropriations bill because Republicans would no longer vote for it. "Our veterans and troops were prioritized over a political messaging amendment that could have jeopardized the final passage of the appropriations bill," said Speaker Paul Ryan's spokeswoman AshLee Strong in a statement. 
The fracas highlights the risks for GOP leadership's commitment to an "open amendment" process, where lawmakers are afforded wide latitude to offer changes to legislation, like the military construction and veterans affairs spending bill that was on the floor Thursday.  Ryan upon taking the gavel vowed he would allow more amendments on the floor, but Thursday's drama will surely test his commitment to that process. 
It's a good bet that other politically explosive issues will come up for votes if the Wisconsin Republican and his team continue the same practice through this summer's spending bill process, so Ryan will have to determine if the benefits outweigh the cost.

He has no choice. This was a Freedom Caucus demand.

Its going to be a long hot summer.

.