Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King is attempting to attach hot-button amendments to a House spending plan starting with a proposal to prevent transgender bathrooms on Capitol Hill.
At the same time, New York Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney is again trying to add a measure barring discrimination by federal contractors because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
[House Rejects Spending Bill After Gay Rights Measure Added] The contentious amendments come as the chamber is still reeling from the unusual and unexpected defeat of an appropriations bill covering water and energy programs in late May. Maloney’s LGBT provision and other measures added on the floor helped sink that bill.
This time, the House Rules Committee will decide which of about 30 amendments submitted by lawmakers on Monday will actually be open to debate. The committee meets Wednesday, and floor votes could begin as early as Thursday.
King’s flurry of amendments ranged from transgender and immigration issues to the right to carry firearms on Capitol grounds by members and House employees.
One provision would enable Capitol Police to enforce immigration laws – in the spirit of the notorious Arizona law that allowed local police to question people’s immigration status. Another amendment by King would prohibit the hiring of individuals who are in the country illegally.
Another King amendment would allow members, officers and House employees to carry firearms on Capitol grounds — though it remains unclear if members, who are not required to walk through security checkpoints, already do carry guns inside the Capitol.
While the bill governs spending, lawmakers may influence policy by how the government spends its money.