December 1, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Senate Democrats may include gay marriage legislation in government funding package

Senior Senate Democrats are discussing the possibility of including legislation to protect gay marriage rights in a government funding bill, a Capitol Hill Democratic source told Fox News Digital. 

Punchbowl News first reported the consideration, which would add a hot-button political issue to the “continuing resolution” vote just weeks before the November midterm elections. The deadline when government funding runs out is Sept. 30. 

This also comes with gay marriage being one of several issues sitting in limbo at the beginning of the Senate’s new work period, during which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said judicial nominations are top priority. He is committed to a vote on a bill to protect gay marriage, but not a timeline. 

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“We will have a vote on marriage equality,” Schumer said at a press conference before the August recess. “Not giving you a timetable. We’ll come back in September. There’s a whole lot to do. And one of the important things we have to do is judges. And, as you know, court of appeals judges take 30 hours each. We just, I just filed for two of them to be – do first thing when we came back.”

Tacking the gay marriage issue onto a continuing resolution could help Democrats deal with their problem of limited floor time, as it would condense two of their agenda items into one. 

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It could also risk a funding showdown with Republicans.

A Senate Republican aide told Fox News Digital last week they are confident there are 10 GOP votes for gay marriage legislation – enough to clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold. GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio are original co-sponsors of the chamber’s bill.

However, Democrats were already considering including energy permitting reform legislation Schumer promised to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., as part of the continuing resolution. Some Republicans, angry over the tax and social spending bill Democrats passed during August, say they will vote against a funding bill including what Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called a “political payback scheme.” 

How those dynamics will work out into votes on the Senate floor is unclear. 

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Gay marriage became a major issue for Congress after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in an opinion on the Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade that he believes the court’s precedent on marriage could be flawed too. 

No other justices joined that opinion, but the House of Representatives passed a bill to protect marriage equality in the states earlier this summer with significant bipartisan support. 

The effort has bipartisan support in the Senate too, although discussions are ongoing regarding potential conscience protections for religious people that Republican senators would like included in any legislation. 


Source: Politics