Donald Trump’s impeachment could delay Joe Biden’s crucial LGBT+ rights agenda
Joe Biden’s pledge to sign the Equality Act in his first 100 days could be scuppered.
The second impeachment of Donald Trump may be a potential and unintended speed bump for LGBT+ rights, activists and Democratic insiders have warned.
During a conference call with LGBT+ activists, the president-elect’s transition team said that Joe Biden may be unable to sign the Equality Act within his first 100 days in office, according to LGBTQ Nation.
They said that the impending impeachment trial held at the Senate, alongside the frenzied coronavirus vaccine rollout, may prolong the process of passing what would become the federal bedrock of equality legislation.
This is because the Judiciary Committee, a pivotal power in the Senate which reviews new legislation, among other key tasks, is handling Trump’s impeachment proceedings – passing the act on top of this may prove difficult, they admitted.
However, the transition team sought to stress that Biden will reverse Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the US military using his executive power. In rescinding the ban, trans people would likely be able to serve around one year later after the Pentagon dismantles the policy.
Joe Biden could be forced to sign Equality Act after first 100 days.
In dialling down their expectations, activists told the Washington Blade that they may have to settle for Equality Act being passed by just the one chamber of Congress, likely the House of Representatives, instead within the first 100 days.
One campaigner claimed that House speaker Nancy Pelosi has signalled that she would bring up the legislation in the House early on during the Biden administration.
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Sources on the call told the outlet that despite clinching a fragile Senate majority, the cloture rule – that demands 60 votes to move a bill forward from debate if even one lawmaker refuses to consent to voting – may scupper the act’s passing.
Nevertheless, activists on the call and even Democrats said that such a delay is “unacceptable”, while expressing some leeway.
“I think we’ve gotten the commitments that we expected and hoped for and sought from the Biden team and from legislative leadership, and what that means for us now is holding them accountable, but also understanding that the country, our democracy, and the ability of people to actually live is going to take priority,” they said.
The delay also rattled Democratic insiders, as one said: “The notion that our government can only focus on one thing at a time isn’t acceptable.
“You can’t have the agenda and policy goals that Biden does and not have the process to move faster.”