The "transgender provisions" discussed here recently by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) were to be introduced as an amendment by Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). But before the vote was taken, she withdrew the amendment. She explains why:
In her comments, she said that while she felt the amendment would have "strong support," she also believed it would fail. She ended her comments with this (transcript here):
With a commitment to my colleagues and all Americans committed to equality of opportunity, and ending discrimination, that I will do everything within my power to make this measure whole again.Of course the Republicans tried to kill the bill. Not on its merits, of course, but with something called a "Motion to Recommit." Here's what happened:
My understanding is that the instructions attached to the motion included language saying that it would stay with the Education and Labor for nine days before returning to the House.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) led the recommit effort, saying it was necessary to "ensure this bill does not become the building block that some may want to use to destroy the institution of marriage." His motion sought to send the bill back to committee to add language saying nothing in the bill could be construed as redefining marriage for federal or state purposes beyond the definition of "one man and one woman."
That’s when Frank stepped up to the podium at the front of the House and asked Forbes if he would allow the House to proceed to a vote on the bill if Democrats agreed to accept his language by unanimous consent. Forbes balked.
Frank said Forbes’s refusal to accept the offer was a clear indication that Republicans were simply seeking to send the bill back to committee with the "unmistakable intent to put this off until we are due to adjourn."
But the House is adjourning in five days until next session - effectively killing the bill.
The motion to recommit was put to a vote where it failed 198-222. But take a look at the roll for that vote. It's alphabetical, so the name's easy to spot.
Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA) voted in favor of the motion to recommit.
I gotta ask the question, why he vote for a motion that would kill a bill that he, minutes later, would vote for?
I dropped an e-mail to the Congressman's spokesperson for an explanation. I'll report back whatever I hear.