New HRC Report: House Republicans, Hijacked by Radical Anti-LGBTQ+ Members, Use Critical Appropriations Bills to Further Divisive Culture War

by Laurel Powell

Report shows how extremists in the Republican party break appropriations precedent, seek to use the power of the purse to attack the LGBTQ+ community

WASHINGTON—Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released “Power of the Purse: Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism in the Congressional Appropriations Process,” a report about the dangerous extremist takeover of the current Congressional appropriations bill. The report discusses how anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress are using the bills to push an agenda of hatred and division instead of doing the business their constituents sent them to Washington to do. The report displays, in full view, the inability of Republicans to govern each other and the country.

These riders attempt to placate the most extreme subset of the Republican base and intentionally ignore the views of the 80% of Americans who believe that LGBTQ+ people should be able to live lives free from discrimination. These provisions attempt to limit access to best-practice gender affirming care, give businesses and individuals a license to discriminate, and even ban drag shows and Pride flags on government buildings. House Republicans have even gone so far as to strip the funding of LGBTQ+ community centers and housing for LGBTQ+ seniors for no reason other than that they serve the LGBTQ+ community. While each rider varies in its content, they are all consistent in posing a threat to the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ individuals everywhere.

It is evident that House Republicans have no interest in solving the real problems facing their constituents. This abuse of the appropriations process threatens to derail critical funding bills that address the needs of our country. In their rush to fire just about every legislative volley they can think of to further advance their culture war on Americans, Republicans have chosen to turn the appropriations process into a farce, threatening a government shutdown and showing that extremists control their party. Make no mistake: they are hurting real people instead of doing their jobs.

David Stacy, Vice President of Government Affairs

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign declared a first-in-its-history State of Emergency, highlighting the dangerous and unprecedented spike in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation sweeping state houses. Extremist politicians and their allies have ushered in an unprecedented climate of fear, hostility, and discrimination that’s already had consequences across the LGBTQ+ community. As detailed in HRC’s impact report, there has been a steady increase in anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures over the last several years — from 115 bills introduced in 2015 to more than 500 in 2023. This year, more than 80 bills have been signed into law — more than doubling last year’s number. Now, we see this spreading to the U.S. House of Representatives, with the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress — and even House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — attacking transgender Americans from their seats in the Capitol. To learn more about the State of Emergency, read our national warning and our downloadable guidebook.

To read the full report, click here.

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