Is the End of DADT Inching Closer? Senate Has Votes, But GOP Running Out Clock

December 16, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—Good news today on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” front. Republican Sens. Scott Brown (MA), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Olympia Snowe (ME) have come forward pledging their yes votes for the stand-alone bill to repeal DADT, just passed by the House. Adding the already committed votes of Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and there is enough support to break a Republican filibuster to bring the bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote. But there is the very real danger, that obstructionist Republicans will succeed in running out the clock, leaving no time to hold the DADT vote, which would be a travesty. If the discriminatory policy of DADT is not repealed during this legislative session, it won’t come up again for years, with the Republicans taking over the House and gaining members in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement today warning Republican moderates that there is no time for procedural political games. Either they support the repeal of DADT and will vote for the stand-alone bill, or they are just full of it.

“We are very quickly running out of days in this Congress. The time for week-long negotiations on amendments and requests for days of debate is over. Republican senators who favor repealing this discriminatory policy need to join with us now,” said Reid.

Murkowski indicated in her statement that her vote was dependent on the omnibus spending bill being voted on first.

But Sen. DeMint (R-SC) is threatening to force the senate clerks to read the entire 1,924-page spending bill aloud, which is expected to waste at least 50-hours of floor time.

“If they bring this up, they’re going to read it. It’ll take them a day or two to read it,” DeMint said on Fox News. “Again, we’re trying to run out the clock. They should not be able to pass this kind of legislation in a lame-duck Congress.”

And besides the spending bill, there is also the START treat which needs a vote, as well as a vote to finally approve the defense authorization bill, which has been blocked by Republicans because it contained an amendment to repeal DADT.

Below are Brown and Murkowski’s statements:

“Sen. Brown accepts the Pentagon’s recommendation to repeal the policy after proper preparations have been completed. If and when a clean repeal bill comes up for a vote, he will support it,” said Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho.

“Sen. Murkowski will support a stand-alone repeal of the DADT law,” said Murkowski spokesman Michael Brumas. “With the tax package out of the way, and legislation to fund the government on a glide path to passage, Sen. Murkowski will vote to move to DADT when it is brought to the floor.”

It’s now up to Harry Reid to make time to end a discriminatory military policy that the Pentagon leaders, the White House and a majority of Americans support putting an end to.


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