Friday, July 17, 2009

Matthew Shepard Act Faces Veto

It was little more than a Twitter Rumor earlier (or "tumor," or "twumor" if you will), but it appears that the US Senate has voted to end discussion on (63-28) the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to federal hate crims states, to be attached to a Department of Defense authorization bill. There was unanimous consent to add it to a Department of Defense Authorization Bill as an amendment. The bill allows for a $1.75 billion program to fund the building of new F-22 jets, which Pres. Obama has opposed in the past.

That's right, folks, the Matthew Shepard Act is now attached not only to a defense bill, but one that Obama is not happy with amd has threatened to veto...

...which means we are, again, potentially fucked. From the Advocate:
"The President has long supported the hate crimes bill and gave his personal commitment to Judy Shepard that we will enact an inclusive bill,” said Shin Inouye [D-Hawai'i], referring to Shepard’s Oval Office visit with the president earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the President will have to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it includes wasteful spending for additional F-22s. The collective judgment of the Service Chiefs and Secretaries of the military departments is that the current program is sufficient to meet operational requirements. A Presidential veto would not indicate any change in President Obama’s commitment to seeing the hate crimes bill enacted."
*sigh* Does this mean we have to go through this again next year? Perhaps. We'll see.

For the record: I don't want the $1.75B spent on the F-22s, either. I think most defense spending is a complete waste, but it is one of the few things the federal government is constitutionally mandated to deal in... but we just spend too damned much on it, and wasteful wars. However, I might be willing to suck it up the spinning if the Matthew Shepard Act is attached.

Might be.


Jere Keys said...

It wasn't "unanimous" at all. It squeaked by with 63 votes (that's 5 Republicans since we're down 2 sick Dems at the moment). John McCain especially railed against adding hate crimes to the defense bill, but not for a good reason.

Wolfie said...

It will be interesting to see what Obama will do and whats even MORE interesting is why would DEM's attach it a Bill that Obama has said he would Veto.

I posted about this 4 days ago:

Jere Keys said...

I should add that Ohio's Senator Voinovich was one of the 5 Republicans who helped clear the filibuster hurdle on this vote. Both Ohio's senators supported the amendment - which is a bit surprising considering Ohio itself hasn't passed a statewide hate crime bill.