Can't say there haven't been several warnings. House and Senate Democratic leadership are concerned about the Party's vulnerability in the mid-term elections. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told her caucus that they will not vote on "controversial bills" such as gay rights legislation in 2010, according to The Hill.
But according to Democrats who have spoken to Pelosi, the Speaker has expanded that promise beyond immigration, informing Democratic lawmakers that the Senate will have to move first on a host of controversial issues before she brings them to the House floor. Pelosi’s promise could dim the prospects for other White House priorities as well, including the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — known as “card check” — and the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” prohibition on gays serving openly in the military. “There’s not going to be a ton of stuff legislatively next year either way,” a House leadership aide said. “But on EFCA — even though the House has demonstrated its ability to pass it — and on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Senate is definitely going to have to act first.”
Some liberals are concerned that there will be fewer Democrats after the 2010 elections and that the White House should ramp up, not slow down, its agenda. They have also made the case that President Barack Obama and congressional leaders must move left to ensure that the Democrats’ base will show up next November, an argument immigration reform proponents have been making with increased intensity in recent weeks.
"Democrats" saying that the Democratic legislative agenda is "controversial". Imagine that.
Pelosi's promise to vulnerable House members is identical to reports coming from the Senate. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) has been quoted several times as saying House and Senate Democrats are worried about the upcoming midterms and will delay voting on "controversial" items—that includes DADT and Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This latest report by The Hill doesn't even mention ENDA, which could illustrate where it falls on Pelosi's legislative priorities, or, that it's not "controversial" and will get a floor vote. You be the judge.
In related news: The House HELP Committee has delayed the markup of the proposed ENDA bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee has also indefinitely "postponed" hearings on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Maybe these really are "second term" issues ....
H/T: AMERICABlog Gay