Hate Crimes Vote Imminent, Doomed?

The House of Representatives may vote on hate crimes legislation as soon as Thursday. And the things aren’t looking good:

The House could consider the fiscal 2008 defense authorization conference report later this week, but only if negotiators decide quickly whether to include an unrelated hot-button provision, aides said Monday.

An informal House-Senate conference has resolved all but one issue in the sweeping national-security policy measure – whether to include a Senate amendment expanding race-based hate-crime laws to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability. The provision would set new penalties and authorize spending to support state and local prosecutions of such crimes.

The provision could jeopardize the whole bill. In the House, liberals upset over war spending could join forces against the bill with conservatives concerned about the hate crimes language.

Sure, it may not be the most optimistic political picture, but at least liberals and conservatives agree on something, right?