by Stanley Ellicott | ENDA has been formally reintroduced in the House of Representatives, but with 92 fewer co-sponsors than it had at the end of the last Congressional session.
ENDA has been assigned to the recently renamed Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), who is not a public supporter of the Bill. Rep. Tammy Baldwin noted that committee leadership is but one of many changes in this session. At an event for Immigration Equality, she explained that “It was introduced … with 111 co-sponsors.” In the last Congress, ENDA began the session with 117 co-sponsors.
Frank communications director Harry Gural confirmed the bill’s introduction and co-sponsorship number with Metro Weekly but said further information would be available shortly. Gural added that the 111 co-sponsors was “[a] great number considering the heavy loss of Dem[ocratic] seats last election.” Republicans gained 70 seats in the House in the November election.
Despite the wide losses, Barney Frank has not lost hope:
I’m going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where we’re not certain they’re still with us on the transgender issue…[W]e have work still to do and we have overwhelming — over 90 percent — support on the Democratic side for ENDA based on sexual orientation and we had, in the last Congress, about 30 Republicans that way … this is a chance to work hard to sway those who are committed to ENDA to support the full transgender inclusion as well.
The bill has also been reintroduced in the Senate.