The bill needs 218 votes to pass. Five Republicans back ENDA. The five Republicans to back it are Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Jon Runyan (R-N.J.). Practically all the Democrats in the House have co-sponsored ENDA. The 13 holdouts are Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Pete Gallego (D-Texas), Gene Green (D-Texas), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Mel Watt (D-N.C.). Costa and Richmond have indicated that they are leaning towards voting for ENDA.Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) is confident that if House Republican leaders allow a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, it will pass. And he says he knows of lawmakers who have not publicly voiced their support for the legislation but are privately backing it.
"I've had a number of discussions with both Republicans and a few Democrats that aren't on the bill that they're ready to vote for the bill, if not put their name on it [as co-sponsors]," Polis said in an interview. "We're confident we can show the speaker and the majority leader that the House is ready to pass this important legislation and protect gays and lesbians from discrimination."
Polis, who is gay, is the lead sponsor of ENDA in the House. The bill would outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is already illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability. Twenty-nine states currently have no laws in place protecting LGBT individuals at work.
Polis said he thinks lawmakers can only benefit from backing ENDA, even if they are Democrats representing conservative districts.
"I think it's a political benefit for many members from swing districts to support it, and most of the front-line members from competitive districts are already cosponsors," he said. "It's something that I think is very popular in any district in the country to say it's none of your boss' business who you date after work. It's the essence of our capitalist system that you should be promoted or fired based on how well you do a job, not based on something you do outside of office hours." - Huffington Post, 11/8/13
So if we can get all of these 13 Democrats on board that still leaves us with 212 votes. But there are a few Republicans who I think can be persuaded into supporting ENDA. I'm looking at Congressmen Mike Grimm (R. NY-11), Rodney Davis (R. IL-13), Garrett Scott (R. NJ-05), Mike Fitzpatrick (R. PA-08), Jim Gerlach (R. PA-06) and Pat Meehan (R. PA-07) who's approval ratings have all taken a hit due to the government shutdown and represent competitive districts. They probably could use something to convince voters that they're not completely out of touch with their constituents. If any of you can come up with other potentially vulnerable Republican Congressmen that could be convinced into supporting ENDA, please leave their names in the comments and I'll add their contact info. Of course getting Boehner to bring ENDA up for a vote will be a challenge but the first step is getting all the Democrats in the House on board. If Senators Mark Pryor (D. AR) and Joe Manchin (D. WV) can back ENDA there's no reason guys like John Barrow can't get on board. In the mean time, lets keep the pressure on these 13 Democrats who are either on fence or leaning towards support ENDA:
John Barrow (D. GA-12): 202-225-2823
Sanford Bishop (D. GA-02): 202-225-3631
Jim Costa (D. CA-12): 202-225-3341
Henry Cuellar (D. TX-28): 202-225-1640
Pete Gallego (D. TX-23): 202-225-4511
Gene Green (D. TX-29): 202-225-1688
Dan Lipinski (D. IL-03): 202-225-5701
Bill Enyart (D. IL-12): 202-225-5661
Mike McIntyre (D. NC-07): 202-225-2731
Mel Watt (D. NC-12): 202-225-1510
Nick Rahall (D. WV-03): 202-225-3452
Cedric Richmond (D. LA-02): 202-225-6636
Bennie Thompson (D. MS-02): 202-225-5876
And here are the five Republicans that support ENDA. Keep the pressure on them in case Boehner tries to change their minds:
Charlie Dent (R. PA-15): 202-225-6411
Chris Gibson (R. NY-19): 202-225-3371
Richard Hanna (R. NY-22): 202-225-3665
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL-27): 202-225-3931
Jon Runyan (R. NJ-03): 202-225-4765
Now here are some Republicans who I think can be pressured into supporting ENDA:
Mike Grimm (R. NY-11): 202-225-3371
Rodney Davis (R. IL-13): 202-225-2371
Garrett Scott (R. NJ-05): 202-225-4465
Mike Fitzpatrick (R. PA-08): 202-225-4276
Jim Gerlach (R. PA-06): 202-225-4315
Pat Meehan (R. PA-07): 202-225-2011