Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: We Don't Have The Votes And I'm Not Helping

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | March 12, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, employment non-discrimination, ENDA, Pelosi, Speaker

Wepelosi have a new ENDA co-sponsor in the Senate: Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. This confirms the previous information we had that he would be supporting the bill. Our Senate count remains at 55.

Meanwhile, out of DC comes the suggestion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding up the vote on ENDA. Why? Because she says we don't have the votes. Except that we do have a majority in the House and in the Senate on ENDA.

After the jump is my full conversation with the Speaker's office. It's pretty telling.

I know that the LGBT community is a small minority in a big country, and we don't have the numbers to blanket the Congress like the NRA or the AARP. But the Democrats are supposed to be about the rights of minorities.

Speaker Pelosi needs a wake up call. It will be doing her, and the Democrats, a favor. Because if the base stays home in November after not much got done in Congress...she is going to need a job.

Call Nancy Pelosi and demand that ENDA (HR 3017) move to a vote in the House.

202-225-4965. Punch those buttons.

The Speaker Speaks, Sort Of

Here's what I got from Speaker Pelosi's office last night: "The Speaker believes passing ENDA is a top priority and hopes that we can bring ENDA up as soon as possible. That being said, the right time to bring the measure to the floor will be when we have the votes."

When I pointed out that, according to my whip count, we have a majority in the House and Senate, I was told that the Committee has not yet marked up the bill, so there is nothing to be whipped. "I would add anytime when asked about unofficial whip counts that it's important to have the Committee product because you cannot accurately whip a hypothetical bill. Whipping a hypothetical bill yields only hypothetical results."

But according to that logic, how can one ever know if there are enough votes to move forward? Oh, I see, we have to first move forward to mark up the bill. But are there enough votes to justify moving forward to mark up the bill? I don't know, and it is apparently impossible to know, because one must first mark it up in order to determine whether there are enough votes to mark it up.

Circular logic. The Oracle at Delphi did better.

Last night on the Rachel Maddow show, Nancy Pelosi appeared for practically the full hour, discussing health reform. She said something that bears significantly on the issue of moving ENDA forward: "Every bill is a heavy lift. There is not one easy bill. And so the issue is, when you have the votes, you take the vote, and you win, but never expect to be easy."

In other words, if we have the votes on ENDA, move forward to a vote. How many times does it need to be said that WE HAVE A MAJORITY OF VOTES ON ENDA. IT IS DOCUMENTED AND CLEAR. MUST WE GO TO SPEAKER PELOSI'S OFFICE AND SHOW HER THE ROLL OF ENDA SUPPORTERS?

Okay, putting that aside, I asked whether the Speaker supports moving the bill forward to a markup now.

"The Speaker has absolute confidence in Chairman Miller to determine the appropriate timing for his committee's work on ENDA."

Okay, great, so I suppose that means that she's ready whenever Chairman George Miller is ready.

Chairman Miller - you have your marching orders - get going on ENDA!

Why The Speaker's Words Are Insufficient To Get Her Off The Hook

It's the Speaker's job to Speak, and she's not "Speaking." I don't mean mouthing words. I mean speaking definitive orders. If the Speaker called Chairman Miller and said move the bill, do you think he would say no?

And if the Speaker says mealy-mouthed things like "I support whatever George Miller decides to do whenever he feels like doing it," wink, wink, who should I point to - Speaker Pelosi or Chairman Miller?

If a business sales department fails to sell its product, and the leaders of the organization fail to take any action to correct that, who's more responsible, the underlings or the leaders?

The leaders. The Speaker. It's the Speaker's job to sell the product.

The holdup is certainly somewhere: Is it Speaker Pelosi? Is it Chairman George Miller? Is it Rep. Barney Frank? It could be all three, but Speaker Pelosi is in charge as a leader down there, and it is her responsibility to move this thing along.

I'm putting my money on the hold-up being in the Speaker's office. Could we have better numbers? Undoubtedly. But a majority is a majority. What do you want, a bow on it?

The Speaker needs to get in there and push, just like she is doing for health reform. If she sits on the sidelines and wrings her hands about how we don't have the votes (even though we do have majorities in favor of ENDA in both houses), well then, isn't she just throwing in the towel?

What is Speaker Nancy Pelosi waiting for?

Why You Should Call Speaker Pelosi Right Now And Every Day Until ENDA Moves To A Vote

It's time for you to stand up for your job rights. You may be sitting pretty with a job now, but it's not going to take much for the Republicans to sweep in and start changing the rules, and when there's another financial shake-up, you could be standing in the rain with cap in hand, begging for a job.

Boys, you may find yourself putting away pictures of your partner and pretending to be straight as an arrow, hiding that gender non-conformity, looking in the mirror and practicing your walk. Girls, you may find yourself starting to look at dresses, buying Cosmo, and hanging out in the makeup department seeking tips from the Sarah Palin lookalike behind the counter.

Wake up people! Act like you deserve your rights! Put away the elitist nonsense about ENDA being so last century, and telling ourselves that there is no more discrimination against us, and we don't need ENDA! Sure, now that Obama's in power, everyone is so "minority-friendly" and so "I love you gay people-ish." But when a host of Bob McDonnells sweep into Congress in November, and a President McDonnell is elected in 2012, it will be YOU who is so last century.

Call Nancy Pelosi and demand that ENDA (HR 3017) move to a vote in the House.

202-225-4965.


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Could you document the basis whereon you conclude that ENDA has majority support in the House and Senate?

US Reps ENDA Spreadsheet: click here

US Senate ENDA Spreadsheet: click here

This just proves she needs to be replaced as speaker as she can not even control her own party members let alone move bills on to the floor.

I called several times today and the line is busy most of the time. The one time I got through, the receptionist said the LA on LGBT issues was not in and asked if I would like to leave a voice message. I said, "No, I would like to speak to a live person." She sent me to a general voice message. This is after I stated I was the president of a national veterans organization. "Pelosi is rude to veterans." That headline would get their attention.

Because if the base stays home in November after not much got done in Congress...she is going to need a job.

I don't mean to quibble, Jillian, but you could have more accurately said, "... she will be out of a job."

If the Dem's lose their majority this fall, it is obvious that Pelosi is done as Speaker of the House ... however, her San Francisco district is one of the most Democratic in the nation, and her re-election into the body of the House is virtually guaranteed.

I don't think she'll be punching a cash register in a check-out line at the Cala Food Market anytime soon.

"Our Senate count remains at 55."

I have 50, possibly 51 (like your spreadsheet), but the Senate won't even consider ENDA now.

Pelosi promised House Members she wouldn't make them vote on anything controversial. THAT promise is more important than anything she may have made to us. If the Democrats can maintain a majority this fall, she wants to keep her job as Speaker. That's more important than us.

After hearing that the Senate Democratic leadership is urging their party not to vote for the public option, I really have no trouble seeing that they're sinking this low.

"The holdup is certainly somewhere: Is it Speaker Pelosi? Is it Chairman George Miller? Is it Rep. Barney Frank? It could be all three."

I trust these three will be targeted next Tuesday during ENDA's lobby day. Also I'd blog swarm their office contact numbers so supporters that can't make it to DC, can still participate in lobby day.

I for one don't want to wait for 60 votes in the Senate. I would like ENDA to have a full house vote and when it passes use that momentum in the Senate. I want to know where each and every one of the Senator's stand is on ENDA.

Oh no, now we're suggesting "momentum" changes minds? We've already dismissed HRC, lobbying, emailing and calls - now, you want to suggest momentum?

We have 45-50 Anti-gay US Senators. A simple majority is barely possible. But, somehow if the House votes they'll get inspired?

Unless you're a tour guide in DC just trying to drum up some business, I can't see why you're promoting this.

The Senate is the problem, not Pelosi, Miller or Frank - they can't change a Senator's mind. But, unlike you, they're not interested in wasting anyone's time or energy.

Good call, T2. I am planning a blogswarm next week after lobby days on Pelosi's office.

As far as waiting until we have 60 vote in the Senate, there is no need. Like the hate crimes bill, this could be attached to another bill and gotten through with a majority.

Pelosi disappoints again. Even if she were just playing politics, she's doing a bad job of it.

"Our Senate count remains at 55."

I have 50, possibly 51 (like your spreadsheet), but the Senate won't even consider ENDA now.

Pelosi promised House Members she wouldn't make them vote on anything controversial. THAT promise is more important than anything she may have made to us. If the Democrats can maintain a majority this fall, she wants to keep her job as Speaker. That's more important than us.

The Democratic party no longer represents progressives - they represent corporate and conservative interests.

Is it time for Progressive to break away from the Democratic party once and for all?

What do the votes look like if they drop the transgender provisions?

Dropping transgender provisions will create the same mess that afflicted the ENDA when it was proposed back in 2007.

Barney Frank removed the provisions and the backlash from the LGBT community was ENORMOUS.

I wouldn't suggest doing that again.

Also, transgender individuals kind of need those protections: http://transequality.org/Resources/NCTE_prelim_survey_econ.pdf

I've tried calling her for the last half hour. No dice.

You already know my feelings about Nancy Pelosi.