Last week I sent out an urgent update to Projectors to save proposed hate crimes legislation from being attached to a defense spending bill in the Senate. A source on Capital Hill and a federal lobbyist both contacted me with their concerns with the strategy and asked me to help "save hate crimes." Some readers argued that trying to pass the legislation as a stand-alone bill wasn't a wise idea, but I just said hate crimes shouldn't be attached to that particular defense authorization.
Rep Barney Frank obviously has the same concerns my sources have and talked to the Washington Blade about his worries. (emphasis mine)
Upon hearing of the Senate's plan, gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he's "disappointed" the Senate settled on this method of passage. But he added "we could still be all right" because the House passed its version of the defense bill with a bigger margin than he expected.
Still, he expressed concern about how Obama has threatened to veto the House version of the defense bill because it contains funding beyond the administration's request for F-22 fighter jets.
Frank said passing a hate crimes measure as an amendment to the defense bill would stand a better chance if the Senate didn't follow suit and declined to provide additional funding for the jets. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the situation.
After my alert went live on the site, a third source called and - off the record - told me that the White House is aware of the problem and is working furiously to stave off the suggested showdown. We'll see. The same strategy failed last year for similar reasons.