Sep 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Same-sex marriage vote pushed until after election

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, wearing a blue jacket, speaks to reporters in the Capitol basement.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images.

The Senate is bumping a vote on legislation to codify the right to marriage equality until after the midterm elections, senators announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: The development highlights the challenge senators whipping support for the bill have had wrangling 10 Republican votes on such a sensitive social issue in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election.

The backdrop: Only a handful of Senate Republicans have said publicly they plan to vote for the legislation.

  • Senators working on the bill have been crafting a religious freedom amendment to get more Republicans on board, but this week they began to raise concerns that they would run out of time.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was expected to tee up a vote for early next week.

What they're saying: “We’ve asked Leader Schumer for additional time and we appreciate he has agreed,” said Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in a statement.

  • “We are confident that when our legislation comes to the Senate floor for a vote, we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill,” they added.

What we're watching: Schumer's spokesperson Justin Goodman said in a statement the Democratic leader is "100 percent committed" to holding the vote before the end of the year.

  • "[He] will hold the bipartisan group to their promise that the votes to pass this marriage equality legislation will be there after the election," Goodman said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Chuck Schumer's spokesperson.

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