The National Equality March is over, and here we are waking up on a long holiday weekend. Now what? What next?
Our next step in our federal agenda should be focusing on ENDA in the Senate. Of all our initiatives, that will affect the largest number of people in our community in the most important area of our lives: the ability to get and keep a job. And it's achievable in the next few months.
The House is practically on board, and the vote will happen in the next few weeks. My calculations, as shown in the Inclusive ENDA House spreadsheet, show 212 likely yes votes, with another 6 needed for passage. We're 98% of the way there, so we mustn't drop the ball now.
The real fight on ENDA is in the Senate, where there are only 49 confirmed yes votes. That's only 82% of the way there. Another 7 are likely yes votes, but they're not saying, so they need to be targeted. Even so, we'll need to drag the river to find 4 more bodies to get ENDA passed.
We can do it, if we as a community get focused on calling our Senators. (Calls are much more persuasive than emails.) Names and contact info of the legislators to target after the jump. If you'd rather not read all this, skip to the part about the Senate, and pick up the phone and call one.
House of Representatives
There are 11 Representatives who are likely to vote yes for HR 3017, most of them because they were co-sponsors of the inclusive ENDA in 2007. However, these 11 have not co-sponsored this time around, and, at this late date, they have not even said they support the bill. You should contact these people and ask for their support for HR 3017.
Jim Costa (CA-D-20) 202-225-3341 559-495-1620 (Click here for email)
Xavier Becerra (CA-D-31) 202-225-6235 213-483-1425 (Email) (UPDATE 10/15/09: now a co-sponsor)
Corrine Brown (FL-D-03) 202-225-0123 904-354-1652 (Email)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-D-24) 202-225-2706 386-756-9798 (Email)
Leonard L. Boswell (IA-03) 202-225-3806 888-432-1984 (Email)
Steny Hoyer (MD-D-05) 202-225-4131 301-843-1577 (Email) (UPDATE 10/15/09: Rep. Hoyer is a yes)
Bart Stupak (D-01) 202-225-4735 231-348-0657 (Email) (not a former co-sponsor, but leaning yes)
G. K. Butterfield, Jr. (NC-D-01) 202-225-3101 252-237-9816 (Email)
Bob Etheridge (NC-D-02) 202-225-4531 888-262-6202 (Email)
Ciro Rodriguez (D-23) 202-225-4511 432-336-3975 (Email)
Jim Matheson (D-02) 202-225-3011 801-486-1236 (Email)
There are also 73 Representatives who are unconfirmed. Their names and contact info can be found by clicking here.
Here's where the real battle royale is going to be.
There are 40 co-sponsors (plus Senator Merkley, the original sponsor, so that's 41). There are 8 who have confirmed that they will vote yes, but are not willing to co-sponsor. You can see all of those names by clicking here, and looking in the "confirmed yes" column. We need 11 more votes to overcome a filibuster.
You can understand how close it is in the Senate when I tell you that there are 7 unconfirmed Senators who are likely to vote yes with some work, and another 9 who might vote yes with a lot of work. I'm calling these last the "high maintenance" Senators, and here they are. Click on their names to see my previous discussion of their positions.
If you're not sure what to say when you call, click here for a "Step-by-Step Script For Calling Legislators On ENDA."
"HIGH MAINTENANCE" SENATORS
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665 907-271-3735 (Email)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) 202-224-2353 501-324-6336 (Email)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) 202-224-5274 850-942-8415 (Email)
Sen. George LeMieux (D-FL) (202) 224-3041 (Email)
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) 202-224-4814 812-465-6313 (Email)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) 202-224-6342 336-333-5311 (Email)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043 701-852-0703 (Email)
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) 202-224-3353 216-522-7095 (Email)
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) 202-224-3954 304-264-4626 (Email)
"LOW MAINTENANCE" SENATORS, BUT NEED A CALL
Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) 202-224-2441 302-674-3308 (Email)
Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) 202-224-5042 302-424-8090 (Email)
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) 202-224-5623 812-218-2317 (Email)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824 504-589-2427 (Email) (UPDATE 10/16/09: Sen. Landrieu is now a co-sponsor)
Sen. Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (D-MA) 202-224-4543 617-565-3170
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842 605-226-3440 (Email)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, IV (D-WV) 202-224-6472 304-253-9704 (Email)
You can learn more about these Senators and why I've rated them this way by clicking here and going to the "Info" column. You can get the list of unconfirmed Senators and contact info by clicking here.
Please call these Senators and ask them to support S1584. The vote will probably take place in early 2010, but we can't wait until then. We need to have 60 Senators lined up, or almost lined up, in order for the leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote. If they don't see 60, they may very well decide either to not bring it to the floor for a vote, citing the press of other business. They may even try to get it through by stripping out gender identity. Sounds far-fetched, I know. *sardonic frown* But start dialing!