Speed Read: LGBT Caucus notes
BALDWIN – WISCONSIN: The only openly gay U.S. senator, Tammy Baldwin, has introduced 16 bills in the first year of her first term in the Senate, one of which is LGBT specific. The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013 (S. 1529) seeks to provide to gay federal employees with domestic partners the same benefits as provided to federal employees married to opposite sex spouses. Since the Supreme Court struck the key provision of DOMA in June, the federal government can no longer deny equal benefits to married gays. Her other 15 bills address a range of issues, including seeking to provide limited use of Medicare data and promoting research at the National Institutes of Health.
CICILLINE – RHODE ISLAND: Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.Is.) has introduced 10 bills in the first year of his second term, none of which relate to the LGBT community specifically. One has 126 co-sponsors and seeks to express the “sense of Congress” that the “Chained Consumer Price Index” should not be used to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits. Others concern firearms, incentives to businesses that manufacture products in the United States, and a minimum tax rate fore people who’s adjusted gross income is above $1 million.
MALONEY – NEW YORK: Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY), a first-termer, has introduced seven bills, only one of which mentions an LGBT-related matter. That bill, to promote adoption and foster care, states that “discrimination against potential foster or adoptive parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status is not in the best interests of children in the foster care system.” His other legislation concerns railroad rehabilitation and veterans.
MICHAUD – MAINE: Six-term Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) has introduced 20 bills thus far this year, none of which are LGBT-related. Several seek to improve transportation safety. Several concern veterans’ benefits. Others concern student loans, made-in-USA footwear for military, and Internal Revenue Service rulemaking.
POCAN – WISCONSIN: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) has introduced five bills during the first year of his first term. Two of the five address an LGBT issue: the companion bill (H.R. 3135) to Senator Baldwin’s Domestic Partnership bill, and H.R. 2839, which seeks to require military review boards to review and correct the discharges of anyone discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation. The latter bill has 138 co-sponsors. Pocan’s other bills concern student loans, voting rights, and defense research.
POLIS – COLORADO: Third-term Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has introduced 30 bills this year, two of which relate to LGBT-specific issues. His most popular piece of legislation is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H. R. 1755, with 200 co-sponsors. The landmark LGBT legislation is expected to go nowhere, primarily because House Speaker John Boehner has vowed it will go nowhere under his reign. Polis has also introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 1652), with 165 co-sponsors. That bill would prohibit public schools from excluding students because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Polis also has several bills to improve education, as well as bills addressing the legalization of marijuana, clean air, and affordable housing.
SINEMA – ARIZONA: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has introduced seven bills during the first year of her first term, none of which relate to an LGBT-specific issue. Four of Sinema’s bills address issues for veterans and the military, one concerns student loans, and others concern energy and cybersecurity.
TAKANO – CALIFORNIA: First-termer Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) has introduced seven bills, none LGBT specific. Three of his bills concern education, three renewable energy, and one veterans’ benefits.