Spending Deal Bans Flying Pride Flag Over US Diplomatic Buildings

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Mar 23, 2024 - 04:50 PM

Authored by Caden Pearsen via The Epoch Times,

The government spending bill that House lawmakers passed on Friday included an effective ban on pride flags flying over diplomatic buildings but dropped nearly all of the 45 GOP-included provisions targeting LGBT concerns.

Specifically, the bill states that appropriated funds can only be used to fly certain official flags over U.S. diplomatic facilities, effectively banning the LGBT pride flag.

According to the bill’s text, (pdf) “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended to fly or display a flag over a facility of the United States Department of State other than” the listed flags, which did not include the pride flag.

The permitted flags include the U.S. flag, foreign service flag, POW/MIA flag, hostage and wrongful detainee flag; the flag of a state, insular area, or the District of Columbia at domestic locations; the flag of an Indian tribal government; the official branded flag of a U.S. agency; or the sovereign flag of other countries.

Two-thirds of House lawmakers passed a $1.2 trillion bill on Friday to fully fund 70 percent of the government without the support of most Republicans, just ahead of a deadline.

The legislation is now in the Senate for consideration ahead of a midnight deadline, after which the government shutdown will begin if lawmakers there do not clear it.

House Republicans “failed” to keep more than 45 provisions aimed at limiting funding for transgender procedures, certain drag shows, and executive orders related to diversity, equity, and inclusion issued by President Joe Biden, according to the Congressional Equality Caucus.

The only two measures that Democrats in the caucus described as “anti-equality” that made it through were the measure banning pride flags and cuts to funding for LGBT community funding projects.

“Unfortunately, Republicans fought to maintain a rider that restricts Pride flag displays at State Department buildings, and the final funding bills did not include some LGBTQI+ community funding projects,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), chair of the caucus, said in a statement.

‘Business as Usual In the Swamp’

Staunchly conservative Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus had pleaded with their colleagues to reject the spending deal in the days leading up to the vote, arguing that it funds the very Biden administration policies they’ve been fighting against.

“This is business as usual in the swamp,“ said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) on the House floor before the vote. He went on to warn his GOP colleagues that should they campaign against ”open borders,” they'll be laughed at.

“Because today, if you vote for this abomination of a bill, you will be voting to fund it,” he added.

Republicans in both chambers lamented the lack of inclusion of stronger border security measures in the spending deal and expressed criticism of its passage in the House shortly after.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who called the bill’s passage with the speaker’s support “a betrayal,” moved to oust Mr. Johnson from the speaker’s office for his role in the deal.

She filed a motion to vacate the speaker on Friday as House members voted on the package.

“The ‘Republican-controlled’ House just passed a $1.2 trillion spending bill that doesn’t secure our border but funds full-term abortion and trans ideology on our youth. I filed a Motion to Vacate because the House needs a Speaker who’s able to win for Republicans and our constituents,” she said.

Before the vote, Ms. Greene spoke on the House floor and said no House Republican can in “good conscience can vote for this bill,” calling it a “complete departure” from the conservative party’s principles.

The bill was unveiled on Thursday and fast-tracked to approval in a process that required a two-thirds majority vote for passage, as well as the House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) waiving a rule that requires 72 hours for members to review the legislation before it can be moved.

The bill would fund the departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that voting on the deal would soon begin after resolving an impasse.

However, the deadline was missed, and the government entered a partial, albeit short-lived, shutdown.