Reid to Hold DADT Vote Tonight, But GOPer Susan Collins May Block It

December 8, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is holding a procedural cloture vote tonight on the defense authorization bill that includes a measure to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” But the vote is hardly guaranteed to succeed, with the super majority filibuster abuse perpetrated by the Republican minority. Although a number of Republican Senators have announced they would vote for the repeal of DADT, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is threatening to filibuster tonight’s vote, unless her unreasonable demands for unlimited debate are agreed to. Despite the efforts of President Obama, Reid and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to convince Collins to change her mind, she has remained intractable. Could this be the end of Congressional repeal of the odious discriminatory DADT policy?

Harry Reid announced earlier that the Senate session for 2010 would end on Dec. 17. But a number of Democratic Senators, including Sen. Lieberman have signed a letter urging Reid to extend the current calendar for several more days, to allow time for the DADT debate.

So, as it stands now, if the cloture vote for repealing DADT fails tonight, there is little time left in the cramped lame-duck calendar to bring it up again. And it has little chance of becoming repealed next year when more Republican members will added to the Caucus.

It’s so utterly annoying that the repeal of DADT comes down to one unreasonable Republican Senator, when the Democrats hold the majority.  All that’s being asked of Collins is to vote yes on the cloture motion to allow a up-or-down vote on repeal. She has the option of later voting no on the actual defense authorization bill.

“All three have attempted to get Collins to budge from her position that a cloture vote on the defense bill must be preceded by unlimited debate, which in Senate parlance means any Senator — including the many vocal opponents of DADT repeal — could offer a “non-germane amendment” (the aide suggested repeal of the health care law as an example) that would shut down debate and prevent a final vote on DADT. The aide said that an unlimited debate process would be all but unprecedented on a defense spending bill, and amounts to an “unreasonable demand” on Collins’ part.”

“Now, with the hours ticking down until Reid announces a cloture vote on the defense bill, Democrats are waiting for Collins’ counteroffer to their proposal to offer ten amendments before the final vote, which the aide says is a good faith effort to give Collins what she has professed to need all along.”

What happens next is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned.

Photo Source: White House Photo by Pete Souza


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