Here are the 7 cowardly Republicans who caused Congress to erupt in chaos after flipping their vote on LGBT discrimination

"Shame! Shame!" Democrats in Congress shouted after Republicans bullied LGBT protections out of defense funding

By Sophia Tesfaye
May 20, 2016 8:28PM (UTC)
main article image
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 10: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) chairs a hearing on Capitol Hill on October 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. The hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee focused on the security situation in Benghazi leading up to the September 11 attack that resulted in the assassination of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The House erupted in chaos Thursday when Democrats vocally cried foul after Republican leaders muscled several members into flipping their votes on an amendment ensuring protections for the LGBT community in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

At issue was New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney's amendment prohibiting funds to implement contracts with any company that doesn't comply with President Obama's executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. Initially, it appeared that the amendment had passed. To Democrats' surprise, the 217 "yes" votes overtook the 206 "no" votes when the clock ran out. The measure only needed 213 votes, a majority of the GOP controlled House, to pass.


But, Republican leaders quickly scrambled to persuade the few Republicans who joined with Democrats in keep federal non-discrimination policy consistent. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Californian, kept the vote open until a group of seven Republicans, mostly from Western states, flipped their votes to no, resulting in an ultimate 212-213 defeat for the non-discrimination amendment.

Let House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer’s Star Wars style video explain the parliamentary scandal that ensued:


"No one had the courage to come into the well to change their vote but notwithstanding that, the vote kept changing," Hoyer noted. "How can the vote change when no one comes to the well to change their vote?"

"Shame! Shame! Shame!" Democrats chanted as they watched Maloney's amendment go down to narrow defeat.

"This is one of the ugliest episodes I've experienced in my three-plus years as a member of this House," Maloney, who is openly gay, said on the floor.


According Hoyer's office, at least seven Republicans changed their votes:


[caption id="attachment_14500249" align="alignnone" width="220"]Rep. Darrell Issa Rep. Darrell Issa[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14500241" align="alignnone" width="215"]Rep. Jeff Denham Rep. Jeff Denham[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_14500256" align="alignnone" width="223"]Rep. Mimi Rogers Rep. Mimi Walters[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_14500262" align="alignnone" width="220"]Rep. Greg Walden Rep. Greg Walden[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_14500265" align="alignnone" width="204"]Rep. David Yong Rep. David Yong[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_14500271" align="alignnone" width="220"]Rep. Bruce Poliquin Rep. Bruce Poliquin[/caption]

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anti-lgbt Discrimination House Gop House Republicans Issa