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(52,101 posts)
Sat May 18, 2024, 04:48 PM May 18

The sneaky, spiteful new way Republicans are working to undermine LGBTQ groups [View all]


House Republicans are quietly trying to use a normally inconspicuous congressional budget process to make life for LGBTQ Americans as repressive as possible.

Under new rules set out last month by House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole, R-Okla., members can no longer request funds for nonprofits in their districts under the Economic Development Initiative, a federal program designed to help these organizations provide needed social services to their constituents. While these requests are known pejoratively as “earmarks,” insidiously lumped together with corrupt or pay-to-play projects for special interests and wealthy donors, this social services funding is actually vital to communities and peoples’ lives. In the most recent budget, EDI earmarks provided hundreds of millions of dollars to YMCAs, Boys and Girls clubs, shelters for domestic violence survivors, and other important organizations.

But because Republicans want to block any of these federal funds from being used by organizations that serve LGBTQ people, Cole decided that no nonprofits will be eligible for these funds.

In negotiations for the most recent budget, House Republicans made multiple efforts to block funding to LGBTQ community service centers, first in committee and then again at the eleventh hour in the package of spending bills Congress passed to avert a government shutdown. Their efforts were met with limited success: The package did not include funding for Philadelphia’s William Way LGBT Community Center after it was targeted by the anti-LGBTQ social media account Libs of TikTok. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., even compared funding the William Way center to funding the Ku Klux Klan.

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