WASHINGTON D.C — (07-19-23) — The Republican majority in the US House of Representatives have struck down three Democratic projects that would have provided services to the LGBT community during Tuesday’s fiscal 2024 Transportation-HUD Appropriations markup. Needless to say Democrats were enraged.

The three earmarks cost came to a total of $3.62 million, with two in Massachusetts and one in Pennsylvania. The LGBT projects were eliminated as part of the war on the LGBT Community by the Republican party, to advance their culture wars for the 2024 election.

The GOP’s anti-LGBT provisions included a ban on flying gay pride flags over government buildings. The vote was passed along party lines, 32-26.

Subcommittee ranking member Mike Quigley, D-Ill., introduced an amendment to add the three projects back into the fiscal 2024 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill. However it was rejected by a vote of 30-27.

The earmarks that are set to be stripped include two in Pennsylvania: $1.8 million that Rep. Brendan F. Boyle requested for an expansion project at the William Way Community Center in Philadelphia, another one for $970,000 that Rep. Chrissy Houlahan had requested for a transitional housing program at the LGBT Center of Greater Reading.

“This cruel and unjust decision is not rooted in any legitimacy, but instead in bigotry and hatred,” posted Houlahan on Twitter.

The third project is $850,000 that Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley, D-Mass., who had requested the funds for LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., to convert a former Boston Public School building into 74 units of affordable housing for seniors.

“It is unconscionable that Republican committee members would hold senior citizen-specific housing hostage and continue their dangerous national trend of targeting the LGBTQ+ community,” said Pressley to reporters.

House Republicans earlier this year changed the eligibility rules for earmarks. This was designed to eliminate what right wing extremists call “woke” projects from getting funding in the annual spending bills.  Rule changes included requiring members seeking projects to certify that the earmarks have a “federal nexus” and are for purposes authorized in prior federal law.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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