Log Cabin Statement on Decision by Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont to Leave GOP

From Rich Tafel, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans

May 24, 2001 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – It is with regret that we learned earlier this week of Senator Jim Jeffords' intention to leave the Republican Party. We understand that the decision was Senator Jeffords' decision alone, and while we disagree with it, we respect it.

While Senator Jeffords' decision shifts the title of majority leadership to the Democrats, the Senate has, in fact, been substantially controlled by the Democrats since January due to the requirements of the power-sharing agreement in force under the 50-50 split. Control of the flow of legislation on the floor of the Senate is now clarified, but committee ratios are still in question, and the split remains contingent on a single vote.

More importantly, legislation still requires approval of the Senate, the House, and the President to become law. As we have stated since the election, Log Cabin Republicans remains committed to ensuring that legislation addressing issues of concern to the gay community is advanced so that it will pass both the Senate and the House and will have the President's signature. We continue to believe in results, not just rhetoric.

Like every Member of Congress, the President was elected to get things done and he intends to work with both parties to do the business of the people. We continue to urge Republicans and Democrats to follow the President's example.

We also believe that while this decision was Senator Jeffords' decision alone, it reminds us that a Republican majority is built through inclusion and outreach in a diverse coalition that works together, not through exclusion or driving Republicans away. Most of our Party's leadership has embraced this philosophy, and their success has been evident in the Republican House and the Administration.

Senate Republicans, who held a solid majority one year ago, should focus now on where their leadership may not have recognized this important reality, and what kind of leadership they will need to rebuild their majority from this moment on.

An inclusive Republican Party will continue to win elections and gain seats in Congress. President Bush and leading Republicans from across the political spectrum understand this crucial principle. We look forward to working with our friends in the Republican Senate in rebuilding our majority based on this principle.