Senate Republicans Block Defense Bill, DADT Repeal
September 21, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)–Despite the involvement of pop singer Lady Gaga, the so-called moderate Republicans from Maine, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, joined their colleagues to filibuster the defense appropriations bill, because it also included an amendment to repeal the onerous military policy “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” The senators from Maine quibbled over procedure and the number of amendments allotted to Republicans, but when it counted, they both voted to filibuster a defense bill and not even allow the measure to come to the floor for debate and an up-or-down vote. This may have been the last chance for the senate to pass the repeal of the DADT rule. After the November elections, the Democratic majority is expected to shrink, creating an even more difficult environment for overcoming GOP filibusters.
The final vote was 56 to 43, with two very confused Blue Dog Democrats crossing over to the other side of aisle to join the Republicans in their filibuster motion. The actual vote was 57 to 42, but Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), changed his vote for procedural reasons, setting up another go at the measure.
The Democrats voting with the Republicans, were Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
Gay rights activists are disappointed that the measure didn’t even make it to the floor for debate. But they are now hanging their hopes on the lame-duck session after the November elections.