Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he was “disappointed” that GOP Speaker John A. Boehner would not bring a bill banning discrimination against gays in the workplace, up for a vote in the House, where Mr. Reid said it would pass.
“I was disappointed to read yesterday that Speaker Boehner opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because he believes it will lead to frivolous lawsuits,” Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor. “But coming from the man whose caucus spent $3 million in taxpayer dollars defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage law in court, that is a pretty far reach.”
A vote on the bill, which would protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination, is expected later this week in the Senate. It passed a procedural hurdle Monday night with a bipartisan vote of 61-30.
In each of the 21 states with some type of protection for LGBT workers, Mr. Reid said that fewer than 10 lawsuits have been filed between 2007 and 2012.
Mr. Reid also asked for “unnecessary delays” to stop so lawmakers can be home with their families for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
With so little time left in the calendar year, and so much left to do, Mr. Reid said senators should expect to stay in Washington and work the next few weekends.
“We’re going to be out Monday because it’s Veteran’s Day, but all weekends until we leave here for Thanksgiving are going to be work weekends in order to get our work done,” he said. “So I know people have schedules, but understand you better keep them pretty loose. Otherwise, you’re going to be missing some votes around here.”