Maine Senator Angus King is a member of a committee designed to overcome political gridlock in Washington. King is saying it’s been an historic week, particularly in the Senate. Here’s the latest on some of the recent progress being made.
Some of the issues on the table in Washington include the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It’s a bill that makes it a crime for employers to discriminate against gay, bi-sexual and trans-gender Americans. Senator Angus King says, ”it ensures that talent and experience are the only factors considered in a potential employers application and that’s all that Americans really want to enjoy is equal protection under federal law.”
This measure now faces a vote in the house, but those who oppose say they’re concerned religious institutions will be caught between the law and their faith. House speaker John Boehner has said it is unlikely he will allow the bill to pass.
An amendment authored by King and co-sponsor Marco Rubio of Florida requires an independent alternative analysis, whenever the government considers use of targeted lethal force against a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. who is involved in terrorism. King, ”the amendment provides an additional layer of accountability within the decision making process and we’re trying to balance national security needs with with basic constitutional rights.”
The Committee approved the act last week…it basically means that there would be several notifications and independent reviews before a strike is made.
And of course on the white house agenda is a “budget plan.” King describes recent actions by congress as chaotic and a lack of functionality. He says coming up with a budget is the most basic function of the government. King, ”we have to set aside the political blinders, the ideologies, the parties, makes some compromises, find common sense solutions, for the good of the American people, that’s going to be the number one priority over the next few weeks.”
King says by passing a budget, they would restore confidence in Americans that Congress can do it’s job. Right now negotiations for a permanent budget solution are already underway. The recent budget deal passed was a temporary one which expires in January. If a deal is not reached by then, the Government can once again, shut down.