Democrats have pledged to target seven
House Republicans who switched their votes on a gay rights measure.
According to The Hill, an
official for House Democrats' campaign arm (the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee) said that the vote is expected to
become a major issue in close races.
At issue was President Barack Obama's
executive order protecting LGBT workers in federal contracts.
Republicans late Wednesday approved an
amendment to a defense policy bill that aims to extend a “religious
exemption” from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all government
The amendment's vague language “could
be exploited as a license to discriminate against LGBT Americans by
almost any federal contractor,” Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican,
the Rules Committee on Tuesday.
Amid shouts of “Shame! Shame!” from
Democrats on Thursday, seven Republicans were persuaded by GOP
leaders to switch their votes after the clock ran out on an amendment
to a spending bill that would uphold Obama's order. The amendment
failed by one vote.
Democrats quickly shared the names of
Republicans who changed their votes: Reps. Darrell Issa, Jeff Denham,
David Valadao of California; Greg Walden of Oregon; Bruce Poliquin of
Maine; and David Young of Iowa. Four of those lawmakers, Young,
Poliquin, Denham and Valadao are believed to be the most vulnerable.
In a statement, Poliquin denied the
claims: “I am outraged that political opponents or members of the
press would claim or insinuate that I cast a vote due to pressure or
party politics. No one controls my vote,” he said, adding that “I
abhor discrimination in any form and at any place.”