WASHINGTON - Shouts of "shame, shame, shame" erupted in the US House of Representatives on Thursday as Republican lawmakers narrowly defeated legislation to protect the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of government contractors.
The measure, an amendment to a veterans and military construction spending bill introduced by New York Democrat Sean Maloney, initially had enough "yes" votes to pass, according to the count in the House chamber.
But House Republican leaders extended the time allowed for the vote as they urged enough party members to change their positions to defeat it by a vote of 213 to 212.
All 183 Democrats who voted backed the amendment, joined by 29 Republicans. All 213 "no's" were from Republicans. Eight House members - three Republicans and five Democrats - did not vote.
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