Support for ENDA grows in the Senate

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). (AP) Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). (AP)

A proposed law banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual preference and gender identity picked up more support Tuesday night as a moderate Democratic senator said he'll vote yes and a Republican senator suggested he's also inclined to support it.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) plans to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it is expected to come up for a vote next week, a spokesman told The Washington Post Tuesday evening.

Pryor's "yes" vote means supporters are just a few short of ensuring that the bill can clear 60-vote procedural hurdles whenever it is considered in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) remains the lone Senate Democrat yet to announce his position on the issue.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told an Ohio reporter Tuesday that he's "inclined to support" the bill, but that he still has concerns about how the new law would affect the religious freedom of employers.

If Portman backs the measure, he would join at least four other Senate Republicans -- Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) -- who are either co-sponsoring the measure or voted for the bill when it cleared the Senate health committee in July.


Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



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Ed O'Keefe · October 29, 2013