Senate Vote on Marriage Equality Bill Delayed Until After Midterms
CNN. Backers of the bill had previously hoped that it would receive an up-or-down vote prior to November’s elections, with Collins saying she hoped Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wouldn’t intentionally delay a vote on the measure to use as a cudgel against non-supportive senators in the midterms. Schumer had previously been expected to file for cloture on the bill this week, but the five senators lobbying Republicans — Baldwin, Collins, Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — said they had asked him for additional time. The five previously drafted a “consensus amendment” to add to the bill that protects religious liberty and the tax-exempt status of religious institutions, but getting Republicans to sign onto the bill has proven difficult.Due to Senate rules, and near-unanimous support from Democrats for the Respect for Marriage Act, backers need to garner at least 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster, as 60 votes are needed to start, and stop, debate on the legislation before it receives a final up-or-down vote.Collins told Axios that other Republicans have provided their own suggestions with language they’d like to see added to the bill.