Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, September 21, 2022
In what was seen by critics as a gift to RINOs looking to dodge a vote on same-sex marriage protection, Democrat senators last week delayed the vote until after the November midterms.
The bill’s chief sponsor, Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin, had originally hoped for a vote on the legislation as early as this week, but told reporters that, after a Democratic caucus lunch, a group of five senators recommended that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delay the vote as several of the Senate’s more pliable “Republicans” said it has a better chance of passing after the November elections.
Democrats need the support of 10 Republican senators in order to pass the legislation that would codify same-sex marriage.
“I’m still very confident that the bill will pass, but we will be taking the bill up later, after the election,” Baldwin told reporters last week.
Schumer reportedly agreed to delay the vote but insisted that, when the legislation comes to the floor, “we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill.”
Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Schumer, said he is “extremely disappointed that there aren’t 10 Republicans in the Senate willing to vote yes on marriage equality legislation at this time.”
Before Baldwin had announced the vote was delayed, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins told reporters that she and a handful of other senators had come to an agreement on changes to the law designed to clarify religious freedom safeguards. The version of the bill passed in the House in July, which had the support of 47 Republicans, did not include the religious freedom clarifications.
“We should have a vote when you’ve got the votes. They’ll get more votes in November and December,” said retiring Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. “If I wanted [it] to pass and I was the majority leader and I wanted to get as many votes as I could possibly get, I’d wait until after the election.”
Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who is up for re-election in November, acknowledged that the 10 Republican votes needed to break a filibuster were not there if the legislation came up for a vote this week.
The language in the legislation has reportedly been finalized by Democrats have not released it.
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