Where Are We on ENDA?
Guest blogger Dr. Jillian Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Associate Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, she has conducted research involving hundreds of companies and public agencies that have adopted “gender identity” policies. She publishes a popular blog on the subject of Transgender Workplace Diversity, and has numerous research publications on the subject of gender identity.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009, HR 3017, is pending in the House of Representatives, and has the public support of 164 Members of Congress. Another 40 are likely to vote yes, but have not yet made their support of the bill public, as far as we know. This makes a total of 204 in the yes column. 218 are needed for a majority in the House. Passage is likely, but we’re not yet clearly there as of today. You can get the specifics on our spreadsheet. If you’re in one of the swing districts (highlighted in yellow), call your Representative. (There is a link to contact info on the spreadsheet on the top right.)
The bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate. Our estimates suggest there are currently 58 likely yes votes, and there are a few Democrats whose support is unclear, and a few fair-minded Republicans who may be willing to cross party lines in favor of job equality. You can get the specifics on our Senate spreadsheet.
Legislation will probably be introduced in the Senate soon, and we will want to ask our Senators to co-sponsor the legislation when that happens. Hearings will probably held in the House in early fall, featuring testimony for and against the bill, followed by a vote in the House, if party leaders determine there are enough “yes” votes for passage. If and when passed in the House, the bill will hopefully go to the Senate for a vote shortly thereafter. Whether or not it gets to a floor vote depends again on party leaders determining that there are enough yes votes for passage. If and when passed in the Senate, it will go to President Obama for signature.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The most effective means of ensuring there are enough “yes” votes for passage is meeting with your legislator in your home district during the August recess. Of course we’re all busy with other things, but if you want them to say “yes,” you must say “yes.” You can sign up for a meeting here.
Telephone calls from people in the legislator’s district are the next most effective means. You can find contact info for unconfirmed US Reps here, and contact info for unconfirmed US Senators here Full contact info can be found at www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/.
You should put your legislators’ phone numbers on speed dial, and make friends with the office aides. Call early and often. Put information about your legislators’ position on our Wall at Inclusive ENDA so we can update the spreadsheets.
Acting together, we have made great strides toward passage. I believe that ENDA will pass, if we continue to be smart and targeted in expressing our support to our legislators by means of meetings and phone calls.
Thank you for your work in supporting an inclusive ENDA.