After Losing 2020 House Race In NV, GOP Candidate Morphs Into New Persona For TX

Dan Rodimer is trying to win a House election in Texas after losing just a few months ago in Nevada
Dan Rodimer is trying to win a House election in Texas after losing just a few months ago in Nevada
‘Big Dan’ Rodimer? (screen captures)

Things that make you go ‘hmm…’

After losing a House race for Nevada’s 3rd District in November, Dan Rodimer is now running in a special election for a U.S. House seat in Texas.

Now, not only is this basic carpet-bagging, but Rodimer (a former professional wrestler) has done a complete 180 on his image hoping the folks in Texas don’t notice.

During the race in Nevada, Rodimer ran campaign ads sitting on his couch with his wife and 5 children in a prim, proper environment wearing a nice polo shirt.

But in his new ads for Texas’s 6th District, he’s morphed into a rough and tough rodeo character  – ‘Big Dan’ Rodimer – complete with some kind of accent. I’m a Texas native myself and I don’t know what he thinks he sounds like.

The House seat located in the Dallas area was left vacant after Rep. Ron Wright passed away due to COVID-19.

It’s a competitive race as Donald Trump barely won the district in 2020 by 3 points, down from winning it in 2016 by 20 points.

There are nearly a dozen candidates running in the May 1 special election including Wright’s wife.

Take a look at the side-by-side Rodimers.

Equality Act Passes In House Of Representatives 224-206

As expected, the Equality Act, which would amend current federal laws to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people, passed in the House of Representatives today.

With 3 Republicans voting with all Democrats, the vote was 224-206.

Today’s Republican votes were Reps. Tom Reed (NY), John Katko (NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA).

Conservatives argue the Equality Act would interfere with their right to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on ‘religious liberty.’

Half of LGBTQ people in the U.S. live in the 29 states that lack comprehensive, statewide protections. As a result, discrimination is still commonplace – and legal.

Currently, a person can be denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in 27 states; denied access to education in 31 states; and the right to serve on a jury in 41 states.

The legislation was previously approved in the House in 2019. On May 17, 2019, the vote (236-173) carried with 8 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and no Democrats opposing.

Former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never allowed a vote on the bill in the Senate.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis:

“The House passage of The Equality Act is a victory for all Americans and for our country’s core values of equal treatment under law. This landmark civil rights law secures those protections for every LGBTQ person, to live without fear of discrimination. An overwhelming majority of Americans already support laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, including Americans of all faiths. We are now calling on Senate leaders to come together to finish the work for what is right and just for all Americans. Any Senator against The Equality Act is not only complicit with LGBTQ discrimination, but grossly out of touch with the bill’s widespread, bipartisan public support. It is time to move together to ensure LGBTQ people have the chance to belong, to participate and to succeed in all areas of American life.”

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force:

“We applaud the House vote on the Equality Act, and but we now look to the Senate and begin in earnest what should be a bipartisan effort to protect LGBTQ people. This is what we know: LGBTQ people in 29 states are not protected by anti-discrimination laws. This patchwork of equality is indefensible – the Equality Act must be passed by the Senate so all LGBTQ Americans will be protected from discrimination. It could not be more clear: current civil rights laws leave LGBTQ people, women, people of color and people of faith vulnerable to discrimination. The Equality Act can right this wrong and take the country one step closer to living its promise of ‘liberty and justice for all’ and truly mean it.”

David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition:

“We applaud the House for supporting this bill once again, as it did in 2019, and urge the Senate to follow suit. As Black History Month concludes, we implore Senators to vote in favor of the Equality Act like their lives depend on it, as ours do.”

President Biden Urges Swift Passage Of Equality Act

President Joe Biden issues a statement of full support to LGBTQ+ people on National Coming Out Day
President Joe Biden

In an official statement from the White House, President Biden calls on Congress to “swiftly pass” the Equality Act:

I applaud Congressman David Cicilline and the entire Congressional Equality Caucus for introducing the Equality Act in the House of Representatives yesterday, and I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation.

Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and this bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.

Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society.

The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems — and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law.

On my first day in office, I was proud to sign an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. I directed agencies to implement the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling, and fully enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Now, it’s time for Congress to secure these protections once and for all by passing the Equality Act — because no one should ever face discrimination or live in fear because of who they are or whom they love.

The Equality Act, formally reintroduced in the House on Thursday, would ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination throughout the nation. The act would amend existing civil rights laws to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The legislation passed in the House in 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote but was never given a vote in the Senate.

(via WhiteHouse.gov)

House Will Vote On The Equality Act Next Week

The Equality Act could come up for a vote in the House of Representatives as soon as next week

In a letter to colleagues, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) indicated that the Equality Act will be taken up as soon as next week.

From the Washington Blade:

“Other legislation coming to the floor next week are two bills that passed through the House last Congress: a wilderness package and the Equality Act, which will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans,” Hoyer writes.

In addition to the explicit declaration that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination in employment, education, housing, jury service and credit, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and LGBTQ status in public accommodations and federal programs.

Further, the Equality Act would expand the definition of public accommodations under federal civil rights law to include retail stores, banks, transportation services, and health care services. The legislation would also establish that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

The House approved the Equality Act in 2019, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) refused to allow a vote on the legislation in the Senate.

QAnon Rep. Greene Removed From Committee Assignments

In a bipartisan vote of 230-199, QAnon-related Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been removed from her committee assignments by the House of Representatives. Eleven Republicans voted for her removal.

From the New York Times:

The House on Thursday took the extraordinary step of ousting a lawmaker from two congressional committees, exiling Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for endorsing the executions of Democrats and spreading dangerous and bigoted misinformation even as her fellow Republicans rallied around her.

In a move without precedent in the modern Congress, the House voted 230 to 199— over near-unanimous Republican opposition — to remove Ms. Greene from the Education and Budget Committees.

The move effectively stripped Ms. Greene of her influence in Congress by banishing her from committees critical to advancing legislation and conducting oversight.

Greene’s past statements include saying the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings “false flag” staged events, calling 9/11 an inside job, claiming the California wildfires were started by Jewish lasers shot from space, and showing support for executing Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in social media posts.

It’s worth noting that the Republican caucus met last night and could have chosen to handle the issue within their own party, but instead did nothing. That cowardice left the matter in the hands of the full House.

Coronavirus Economic Relief Bill Passes In Late Night Vote 363-40

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (image via Instagram/SpeakerPelosi)

Under Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, the House passed an economic relief bill by a vote of 363-40 providing billions of dollars for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, free testing and other measures to help Americans impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The legislation came about after tense negotiations between Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Washington Post reports that the agreement “threatened to fall apart entirely for hours Friday amid GOP misgivings.”

Although Donald Trump was openly critical of House Democrats during an afternoon news conference Pelosi and Mnuchin continued negotiations over the course of a reported 13 phone calls throughout the day until the deal was ultimately reached.

Lawmakers voted on the bill just before 1 am Saturday morning. All 40 ‘no’ votes were from Republicans.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, which is expected to pass it next week.

According to the Associated Press, the relief bill will:

• Require private health insurers to provide free testing for coronavirus and waive cost-sharing rules for those covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and federal retirement programs.

• Establish a temporary coronavirus-related sick leave benefit to be paid by employers with less than 500 employees. Businesses will be refunded by the federal government through a refundable tax credit. Employees with the coronavirus would receive 100 percent of their wages if diagnosed with the virus or are self-isolating. Folks taking care of family members would receive two-thirds of their pay.

• Up to $1.3 billion in emergency food aid for low-income pregnant women and their young children, seniors, and food banks.

• Provide $1 billion for additional caseloads and administrative costs to encourage temporarily furloughed workers to obtain unemployment benefits.

• Require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a temporary rule requiring increased protections against the coronavirus.

Finally sensing the full gravity of the circumstances, Donald Trump weighed in via tweet in support of the legislation:

House Approves Impeachment Resolution By Vote Of 232-196

The House of Representatives approved a resolution to move forward with a public phase of the ongoing-impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump by a vote of 232-196.

Two Democrats – Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) and Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07) – voted against the resolution. Both represent districts where Trump won in 2016.

Former Republican, now Independent, Rep. Amash voted for the resolution. No Republican voted in favor of the resolution. Four House members (one Democrat, 3 Republicans) didn’t vote.

From the New York Times:

The vote was 232-196 to approve a resolution that sets out rules for an impeachment process for which there are few precedents, and which promises to consume the country a little more than a year before the 2020 elections. It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president.

Practically speaking, the resolution outlines the rights and procedures that will guide the process from here on out, including the public presentation of evidence and how Mr. Trump and his legal team will be able to eventually mount a defense.

Nancy Pelosi presided over the vote – a rare occurrence for a Speaker of the House.

Same-Sex Married Couples Could See Big Tax Refunds As U.S. House Unanimously Approves PRIDE Act

In a rare, wholly bipartisan move, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that would allow same-sex couples eligible for tax refunds if they were married before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in 2013.

In a rare, wholly bipartisan move, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that would allow same-sex couples to apply for tax refunds going back years if they were married before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in 2013.

The bill, known as The PRIDE Act (Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality Act), passed on a voice vote with zero opposition. The legislation was introduced by Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Andy Levin (D-MI).

Until the 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, married same-sex couples were not allowed to file federal tax returns jointly. As a result, those couples potentially lost out on considerable tax benefits.

After the SCOTUS ruling, the IRS allowed those couples to file amended tax returns for the three years before the decision – 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The PRIDE Act, if enacted, would allow same-sex married couples to refile tax returns for the entire period they were legally married if they lived in a state that recognized their marriage.

Before the DOMA ruling, those jurisdictions would include Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the legislation would remove gendered language (“husband,” “wife”) from the federal tax code.

The Washington Blade reports the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates those couples could stand to recoup up to $67 million in tax refunds.

Despite the unanimous approval in the House, the issue now moves to the Senate where its fate is uncertain.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced similar legislation known as the Refund Equality Act.

However, there’s no guarantee that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will allow his chamber to even vote on the bill.

Stay tuned.

(source: Washington Blade)

House Votes 242-187 To Reverse Trump Military Trans Ban

Trans airman Logan Ireland

The House of Representatives has approved amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would reverse Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service members.

The measure, known as the ‘Harry Truman’ amendment, passed by a vote of 242-187. Ten Republicans joined the full Democratic caucus in approving the amendment.

The sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), said, “Over the last three years, 14,000 transgender service members have served openly and successfully.”

The congresswoman also noted that “all five service chiefs affirmed they do not hamper lethality or cohesion.”

The nickname for the amendment references the 1948 executive order by President Harry Truman which desegregated the military.

The measure would require the military to consider gender-neutral occupational standards as well as military occupational specialty in weighing potential applicants.

However, such consideration “may not include any criteria relating to the race, color, national origin, religion, or sex (including gender identity or sexual orientation) of an individual.”

Additionally, the amendment calls for ensuring “equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, and sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation).”

The ban, which took effect in April, was announced in July 2017 via tweet by Donald Trump. According to multiple reports, the announcement took military leaders by surprise.

Last month, the Senate passed its own version of the defense authorization bill, which does not include the ‘Harry Truman’ amendment language.

Once the House finishes its work on the defense bill, members of both chambers will meet in conference to come to final agreement.

Don’t hold your breath on the GOP-led Senate approving the amendment without a fight.

(h/t Washington Blade)

House Democrats Introduce Resolution To Hold Attorney General In Contempt

CNN is reporting that Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced a resolution meant to empower committees to go to court to enforce their subpoenas in an effort to give committee chairmen an effective way to hold officials in contempt while bypassing the House floor.

The plan comes after Donald Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, and former White House counsel Don McGahn have stonewalled efforts by Democrats to get subpoenaed documents from the Trump administration.

The Democrats’ resolution next week to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt and take those cases to court will also include language stating that committees can move to hold officials in contempt of Congress, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said this week.

The resolution will also include language directing the House to petition the courts to obtain grand jury information contained in the Mueller report.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler pushed for the move in recent weeks as House leadership decided to wait to hold a floor vote on contempt for Barr until they could package officials together. Now committees themselves would be empowered to use civil contempt citations to go to court to enforce their subpoena.