GOP Looks for Filibuster Votes, Restrictive Rules on DADT Repeal

Lisa Keen reports that the Senate GOP is searching for possible allies in a filibuster of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal when the measure comes up, which could be as soon as June 18 according to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Writes Keen: 

"Republicans are reportedly scouring for filibuster votes against the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal and are expected to focus their efforts on winning over Democrats Jim Webb of Virginia and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

And The Hill newspaper reported Monday that, in the alternative, some Republicans may try to amend the repeal language to require that—not just Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen but also—the chiefs of all branches of service certify the readiness of troops in order for repeal to take effect.

Such an amendment, if approved, would likely create a big hurdle for repeal because several of the branch chiefs have made very public their opposition to repeal.

Other potential timelines for debate: 

"The Senate takes a recess on July 4 and returns Monday, July 12. The Senate then takes recess from August 9 through September 10. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has said he thinks the DOD authorization bill will likely come up before the July 4 recess or the August 9 summer recess."


  1. JamesStone says

    Is anyone besides me tired of being used as a “political football?” I think these Republicans are making a big mistake. This move may come back to haunt them..don’t they look at the polls? They are on the wrong side of history.

  2. Patric says

    Major07, I was wondering how long it would take one of the Obama-hating automatons to take a story about how Republicans are pulling out all stops to derail repeal of DADT as evidence that the Democratic President is not on our side. Thanks for not making me wait.

    Hopefully more rational heads will see this item as evidence of the delicate balance the President has had to maintain in securing a coaltion in support of repeal which is strong enough to withstand these anticipated Republican attacks.

  3. says

    If the national polls are to be believed and they remain consistent, what’s the political downfall for any Democrat, Bluedog or otherwise from voting for the DOD bill? I mean, seriously, they all love polling so much; if it’s in favor dismantling DADT, it’s not like you’re committing political suicide.

  4. ant says

    thanks Patric, i was wondering how long that would take too and as you point out it did not take long. this President has done more in his 18 months on this issue than any before him – and as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished.

  5. barney says

    I know it’s important to be nice, I mean all about
    Senator Webb and everything, but, what a pussy.

  6. Michael @ says

    The BULLSHIT [just like the “sideshow” of “delayed implementation” which was ALWAYS a given] that any of the other Joint Chiefs, or Mullen himself, would DARE go against whatever GATES wants is WILLFUL mental retardation because they REPORT TO GATES. And anyone who knows how the military works knows that going against one’s superior is CAREER SUICIDE.

    Therefore, ANYTHING they have said against repeal has been with his permission AND their “certification” decision would be EXACTLY what GATES wants, just as Mullen’s WILL BE.

    In short, because Commander-in-Chief Obama’s Thank You gift for Repug Gates staying on [after SLDN politely begged a week before the Inaugural that he be replaced] was his balls, Gates is the SOLE decision maker about when and IF discharges stop.

    And within that, here is what Obama has ACTUALLY done re DADT since being sworn in:

    1. GUTTED any GUARANTEE of an end to discharges from the amendment
    2. GUTTED the explicit ban on discrimination against gays in the military from the amendment
    3. GUTTED permission for those already discharged to reenlist from the amendment
    4. REFUSED to order his SECDEF and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to salute those three key mandates
    5. Instead EMPOWERED Gates to come up with and spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a phony “study” built entirely around the PREMISE that allowing out gays to serve would hurt the military intended minimally to stall ending discharges, and still with the potential of its “findings” being used to continue the ban permanently
    6. REFUSED to use the legal power Congress gave him to unilaterally stop discharges in the name of national security
    7. REFUSED to order Gates to follow the YEAR & A HALF OLD 9th Circuit Court decision banning any discharges within its multi-state jurisdiction when the military has not proven that the INDIVIDUAL damages unit cohesion. Gates finally promised on Feb. 2nd to announce such policies by mid-March but still hasn’t.
    8.Instead he has DISCHARGED over 600 gays across all jurisdictions since January 20, 2009, and is still discharging them, according to SLDN, under the “old rules” contrary to new ones released March 25th
    9. DEFENDED DADT as constitutional in court in at least half a dozen times with the same homophobic language used to pass it in 1993
    10. CLAIMED DADT has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court when it never has

    The difference between Bill Clinton and Obama is that Clinton came into office wanting to end the ban and eventually caved to the homophobic military while Obama came into office ALREADY having caved to them.

  7. jamal49 says

    @Patric you are right. Blame the Congressional Democrats, not Pres. Obama. If the House had a stronger, focused Speaker and the Senate had a stronger, focused Majority Leader–leaders who would fight for this publicly and vocally because it is the right thing, the moral thing to do, DADT would get repealed in a heartbeat. But, once again, with 2010 elections in sight, the Democrats wimp out and leave Obama to bear the scars. What really irks me are the various chairs of the Joint Chiefs who simply cannot get beyond their own bigotry and ignorance. It is very sad when such bigotry and ignorance are used to deny a gay or lesbian their right to step-up and serve their country. A pox on Congress and all the Joint Chiefs.

  8. Brian from Tucson says

    Michael, please take your tedious bitchy list of comments and nail it on the door of the Log Cabin Republicans.

  9. Michael @ says

    @ JAMAL49:

    Sorry, you’ve only proven you don’t know shit from Shinola about what’s been going on, If you HAD been paying intention, you would know that the requests for help to the President from Congressional advocates for repeal [including some Republicans] have either been ignored or outright obstructed by him.

    1.Again, he has had legal authority since the second he was sworn in to stop discharges WITHOUT ANY APPROVAL BY ANYONE IN CONGRESS.

    2.Last summer, Senate Armed Services Committee Chair and REAL repeal advocate told reporters that:

    “[Any chance of DADT repeal] requires presidential leadership. This cannot be addressed successfully without that kind of leadership.” NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    3.The same month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked for repeal help from the President, AND urged him to freeze discharges with an Executive Order pending repeal. NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    4.Cong. Alcee Hastings and 75 House colleagues sent a letter to the President asking him to stop discharges and to fight for repeal. That letter, and a second by Hastings, was never answered, and Hastings WAS PRESSURED BY THE WHITE HOUSE into withdrawing his legislative effort to stop discharges. NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s similar efforts were quashed.

    5.In September, Reid sent his own letter to the President asking for help: “Your leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this time.” I’ve seen no indication the President ever responded to the highest ranking Democrat in the Senate.

    6. In March of this year, Cong. Barney Frank, who rarely criticizes the President, said that the President was ducking the issue. “They’re ducking. … they’re not being supportive, and they’re letting Gates be the spokesman, which is a great mistake.” NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    7.With no change a month later, Frank adds, “I’m frustrated. I’m disappointed with the administration. His not being for [repeal this year] WILL GIVE PEOPLE AN EXCUSE NOT TO VOTE FOR IT. The President’s REFUSAL to call for repeal this year is a problem.” NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    8. May 1st, SLDN said that the Obama Administration had dealt a “Devastating Blow” against repeal advocates by backing the Gates-Mullen letter to Ike Skelton denouncing any repeal vote before the phony Pentagon “study” was released. NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    9. Lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin “expressed disappointment with the White House for suggesting that Congress shouldn’t take action until the report is issued and said she wished President Barack Obama would weigh in. Baldwin: ‘He has the most powerful bully pulpit in the world, and I hope he uses it to advance equality’.” NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    10. For the SECOND year in a row, OBAMA REFUSED to ask that repeal be put in the defense authorization act.

    11.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that, “the Administration should IMMEDIATELY place a moratorium on dismissals under this policy until the review has been completed and Congress has acted.” NO RESPONSE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    12.Publicly embarrassed by arrests of Dan Choi and other gay vets at the White House, criticism at another WH protest by former DNC chair Howard Dean, and being confronted during speeches by members of GetEqual, and repeal leaders in the Senate and House making clear they would NO LONGER WAIT for Obama, the White House FINALLY agreed to meetings with them and gay advocates BUT having SURRENDERED HIS AUTHORITY TOTALLY to what Gates wants, the result was tearing up the five-year old repeal bill and replacing it with a TOOTHLESS amendment that even IF it ends up repealing DADT will leave COMPLETE AUTHORITY to the Pentagon to KEEP discharging gays FOREVER under THEIR OWN resurrected pre-DADT ban.

    “Pelosi said the House WEAKENED its repeal language to MOLLIFY THE WHITE HOUSE [by taking out the nondiscrimination clause in the original bill leaving the ONLY] language that the White House would endorse.” – The Huffington Post.

  10. Michael @ says, May 26, 2010:

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a clear message on the White House’s plan to change the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy: Don’t wait.

    Lawmakers, aides and gay rights activists are crediting the California Democrat and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) with FORCING the White House, key congressional players and Defense Secretary Robert Gates all to sign off — with varying degrees of enthusiasm — on a bifurcated plan that would lift the policy later.”, May 26, 2010:

    “The final push came from the Hill, where key members of Congress who support repeal, like Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made it clear that they were moving forward with repeal legislation with or without the White House’s blessing.

    ‘Levin and others made it clear that the train was leaving the station and the White House not only was not conducting but they WEREN’T EVEN ONBOARD’, Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, an advocacy group for gays in the military, said in an interview with TPMDC. ‘They were backed into a corner and it was blatantly obvious so they finally decided to get on board’.”

  11. says

    Webb and the rest of the Republicans are so disgusting. (Yes, yes, I know that Webb pretends to be a Democrat, but he still acts like a Republican from the Reagan administration.)

  12. says

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