Senate votes on Respect for Marriage Acta bill that would Legalization of Federal Protection for Same-Sex MarriageBeyond midterm elections, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) told reporters on Thursday.
That vote was originally expected next week before lawmakers leave for a respite in October. The senators said part of the reason for the delay is the release of a new legislative text and the fact that lawmakers are still reviewing that language. However, the bill has been delayed mostly for political reasons: Democrats need 10 GOP votes to pass legislation in the Senate, and not enough Republicans have signed up yet.
“Chief Schumer is deeply disappointed that no 10 Senate Republicans are willing to vote yes on marriage equality legislation at this time,” the Senate Majority Leader’s office said in a statement. “Chief Schumer will not give up and will hold the bipartisan group on their promise that the votes to pass this Marriage Equality Act will be there after the election.”
The Republican vote is likely missing because many fear a political backlash they will get if they take a stand on the bill. If the vote takes place before the election, Republican lawmakers who voted against the bill could face a backlash From moderate and independent voters who broadly supported same-sex marriage, while those who voted for it risk pushback from members of their base who remain against it.
Several lawmakers have suggested to Vox that the bill will likely attract more Republican votes once the midterms are over, when senators for re-election are under less political pressure. while there Overwhelming popular support for same-sex marriagea The socially conservative part of the republican base continue to oppose it.
“I think it’s a wise decision, they’re going to get more votes,” Senator Roy Blunt, one of the top Republicans at the Senate convention, said of the delay. “I think… a bunch of [senators] They are likely to be somewhere after the election so that they are not in a vote that was just…a political ploy.”
This is not the end of the bill
The legislation would be historic if passed, a prospect that lawmakers remain optimistic about. It would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, and ensured same-sex and interracial marriages are recognized under federal law.
These provisions are particularly vital given concerns that protections for same-sex marriage could be in jeopardy yet Dobbs vs Jackson The decision to end the federal right to abortion. Statements by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that Aubergeville vs Hodges The decision, which legalized same-sex marriage, is his decision Interested in re-visiting It made those concerns particularly clear.
While the vote on the legislation is being delayed, both Democrats and Republicans sponsoring the legislation remain optimistic about its chances.
“We are very confident that the bill will pass, but we will need more time,” Baldwin, the leader of the bill’s Democrats, told reporters.
Beyond political considerations, one of the issues blocking the bill is Republicans’ desire to include language making clear that the legislation would not infringe on individuals’ religious liberties. Baldwin noted that lawmakers are due to release a text Thursday of the revised wording that addressed those issues.
At this point, 10 Republican senators have not stated their support for the bill. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-MD), and Tom Telles (R-NC) have strongly endorsed it, while Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has signaled an openness to doing so. The group would still need to get as many Republican votes in order to reach the 60-vote threshold required for the bill to pass the Senate.
Lawmakers working on the legislation now have several more weeks to find that support — although there is no guarantee, even after the midterms, that they will.
“A leader has to make a strategic decision about the best time,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). I personally prefer to score everyone before the November elections, but I understand decisions being made about when the odds are best for the measure to pass. I want a law, not just a bill.”