Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
announced Thursday that he would file cloture today on the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), setting up for a full vote in the
Senate on Monday.
to BuzzFeed, the motion to proceed could be filed within hours.
It requires 60 votes.
“After months of lobbying and
meetings with the overwhelming majority of Republican Senate offices,
we're confident we have the 60 votes to defeat any attempted
filibuster,” said Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to
Work, which is lobbying for passage of the measure. “We're keeping
the pressure up with phone-banking in key states to help thousands of
registered voters patch-through and urge Yes votes from key senators
in Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's long
past time the Senate approved LGBT workplace protections.”
Three Democratic senators fell in line
after Reid announced on Monday that ENDA would receive full
consideration on the Senate floor. Senators Joe Manchin of West
Virginia, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Bill Nelson of Florida endorsed
the measure this week.
ENDA, which was first proposed in 1994,
seeks workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender
identity. The measure cleared a Senate committee with the help of
three Republicans in July.
A possible fourth Republican vote could
come from Ohio's Rob Portman, who earlier this week said he was
leaning in that direction. Portman announced in March his support for
marriage equality. He said he reversed his stance after learning
that his son is gay.
Also aiding the bill is Thursday's
swearing in of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a vocal supporter of
ally Cory Booker sworn into U.S. Senate.)