As the draft of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was released late Sunday night, Republicans scouring the 2,702 pages noted that it denounces discrimination based on "gender identity."
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tweeted Monday:
"Now gender identity is infrastructure. Can't wait to see what else is in this bill."
The tweet showed an excerpt from the bill where it defines "gender identity" on page 2,095 of the bill (H.R. 3684).
"(15) GENDER IDENTITY. — The term 'gender identity' has the meaning given the term in section 20 249(c) of title 18, United States Code."
Twitter followers of Hawley trolled him, suggesting his passage was merely defining the term in the legislation, but it does also protect against discrimination on the basis of "gender identity."
Conservatives have long pointed out that biology provides for two genders: male and female.
The H.R. 3684 draft noted:
"providing culturally competent training and educational programs to all who participate, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, including those with limited English proficiency, diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and disabilities."
And page 2,049 noted:
"(1) IN GENERAL. — No individual in the United States may, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is funded in whole or in part with funds made available to carry out this title."
Reports also note the term "gender identity" was not used in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package passed in March.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for "robust debate" from both parties.
"While I support my colleagues who produced the base text that's now before us, their conversations can't be the Senate's last word," McConnell said in his opening statement calling for debate. "Senators on both sides deserve and expect opportunities to have a say and to put their own state's imprints on this major bill.
"Just as infrastructure itself is not a luxury, but a necessity, the same goes for the Senate having a robust and bipartisan amendment process on legislation of this magnitude. Our full consideration of this bill must not be choked off by any artificial timetable that our Democratic colleagues may have penciled out for political purposes."
McConnell did call out the "recklessness of the purely partisan taxing and spending that Democrats want to ram through next."
That is the $3.5 trillion budget plan that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., made as chairman of the Budget Committee, which Democrats intend to pass with only 50 votes via budget reconciliation.
McConnell criticized the "sprawling $3.5 trillion socialist shopping list and a huge set of painful tax hikes."
"That's their plan," McConnell said. "Our friend and colleague, the junior senior from Vermont, may not have won the Democratic presidential nomination, but his ideology sure has won the war."
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