ENDA in the Senate: how the hearing went

by on November 5, 2009  •  In Congress, ENDA

Bottom line: the hearing on S. 1584, the Senate side version of ENDA, was smooth sailing. Both this and the House committee hearing were probably more theater than anything else.  Apparently, theater on this topic is not terribly appealing to members of Congress, since only three Senators (committee chair Harkin plus lead sponsor Merkley and Franken) stayed for the full hearing; only one additional Senator (Bennet) attended for part of it. On the House side, most Dems and even a couple of Republicans put in an appearance. Attendance is irrelevant to the end result, though – the hearing stage is now completed, and the committees in both chambers can move to mark-up, hopefully this month.

One difference in the dynamic of the hearing was that the attention paid to the two Republican witnesses – a management side lawyer and a religious broadcaster – was the opposite of what happened in the House hearing.  There, committee members seemed interested only in particular points of employment law that arguably could be clarified.  In the Senate, those issues were largely ignored, and instead the religious broadcaster drew a number of questions.

You can watch the hearing and read copies of the testimony here.


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