U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from Cold Spring, attracted national attention on Thursday when he tried to strip discriminatory wording out of a defense spending bill.
Maloney tried to remove a measure that allowed discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) employees, but the GOP scrambled to keep it in by one vote as detailed by clicking here.
The clock expired with 217 votes in favor of Maloney’s amendment. But House Republican leaders took the unusual step to hold the clock open for several minutes and persuade enough Republicans to switch their votes: Maloney's amendment was defeated by a final tally of 213 to 212 votes.
The military spending bill would allow defense contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees on grounds of religious freedom, as reported here.
Maloney's amendment would have nullified a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act -- which opened the door to government contractors to fire or harass employees who are LGBT.
The last-minute shift prompted boos from some members of Congress on the House floor.
Maloney's 18th Congressional district includes northeastern Westchester, of Orange County and Putnam counties as well as parts of southern Dutchess County, including Beacon and Poughkeepsie.