Chaos broke out in the House after the GOP managed to convince a few of their own to change their votes at the last minute, narrowly blocking a measure that would protect the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community from discrimination.
Democrats shouted “shame!” after the vote, which rejected the amendment 212-213. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney introduced the bill that would have prohibitedfederal contractors from obtaining government work if they discriminated against members of the LGBT community.
A monitor in the House gallery initially showed 217 votes supporting the amendment, which sent the Democrats cheering. Those numbers dwindled down to 212 over the following 10 minutes, preventing the amendment from passing.
Several representatives from western states, who originally voted yes, changed their minds at the last minute.
Maloney was angered by Republicans and the way they handled the floor fight for the bill. He blamed Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader, for personally lobbying Republican members to change their votes after it looked like the amendment would pass.
But one GOP aide says it was Maloney that instigated the vote change after he angrily taunted conservatives. Republicans say that passing the amendment would have effectively killed the appropriations bill simply because Republicans would not have voted for it.
“Our veterans and troops were prioritized over a political messaging amendment that could have jeopardized the final passage of the appropriations bill,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan.