House Republicans and President Bush Agree on Clarifications in Faith-Based Initiatives Bill
GOP Co-Sponsors, House Leadership and President Bush All Pledge to Work Together on Civil Rights Protections
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization applauded broad public agreement between leading Republican moderates in the House of Representatives, the GOP House leadership and President Bush to clarify language in the Community Solutions Act of 2001 (HR 7) on civil rights matters.
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), a founding member of the Log Cabin Republicans National Advisory Board, joined Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in seeking agreement with chief House sponsor, Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) and the White House, to resolve any outstanding questions about how the bill would impact local and state civil rights laws. Foley and Kolbe led an effort by moderate Republicans in the House on the issue last week, which resulted in a public pledge during a July 19 colloquy on the House floor between Watts and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a leading Log Cabin Republicans supporter working with Foley and Kolbe, that the matter would be addressed before HR 7 goes to final passage.
Kolbe, a co-sponsor of HR 7 and a strong supporter of the overall bill, joined an overwhelming majority of moderate Republicans who refused to support partisan Democratic efforts to use the civil rights issue to kill the entire bill. Long before the debate over the civil rights issue, the Democratic House leadership vowed to do all it could to stop HR 7 from advancing.
Late yesterday, President Bush told reporters that he, too, agreed to support clarifications in HR 7 which would settle moderate GOP questions on the civil rights issue. While vowing to press on to pass one of his top priorities, the President added that "we should never undermine the civil rights laws of the United States."
"We applaud this broad public agreement between the President, the House leaders and the moderate Republicans to settle the questions over civil rights issues by working together," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "Congressman Foley and Congressman Kolbe took the most appropriate course of action, got the right results, and the Republican leaders on this issue will work together to send a solid bill to the President's desk. Once again, Republicans raised an issue, Republicans responded, and we saw clear results. It is an example of the increasing influence of Congressman Kolbe, Congressman Foley and the moderates in the House."
"All of the key players on this issue are in agreement that local civil rights laws should be in force," Tafel said. "It is yet another opportunity where partisan Democrats appeared desperate to create a wedge with our issues, but failed. It also speaks to the growing strength of key Republican allies, such as Congressman Kolbe, Congressman Foley and Congressman Kirk who, along with their GOP colleagues, ensured the concerns of the gay community were addressed."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time national office and a federal political action committee.