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All Eyes on DADT Repeal as Senate Prepares to Debate, Vote

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Politico's Josh Gerstein and Meredith Shiner discuss the hurdles "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" faces in the Senate:

Dadt "Republicans are threatening to filibuster the defense authorization bill that contains the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. The bill could be waylaid by amendments, a conference committee, the congressional calendar or the midterm elections. Then there’s the veto threat from President Barack Obama, who supports repealing the ban on gays in the military but opposes weapons programs in some versions of the defense bill. 'People can definitely not bank on it yet. There really are significant risks that it might not pass,' said Jon Davidson of Lambda Legal, a gay legal advocacy group. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said Republicans will 'fight every way we can' to keep the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' provisions out of the authorization bill. And Reid didn’t exude confidence that he has the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. 'We’ll sure find out. I don’t know,' Reid said."

However, Politico's Morning Defense thinks the votes are there:

"DADT PREDICTION – The bill may come up on the Senate floor Monday, and there are 60 votes to break any filibuster on defense authorization, advocates of repeal tell Morning Defense."

Kerry Eleveld on Harry Reid and a possibly filibuster:

"Senate majority leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday that if Republicans filibuster the National Defense Authorization Act — which houses “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal — he would file for a cloture motion that requires 60 votes in order to move to a debate on the legislation. Although the bill primarily funds the Department of Defense, Reid said the bill was 'especially important' this year because it would address two issues that were 'long overdue' — repeal of 'don’t ask, don’t tell' and the DREAM Act, a bipartisan measure that would create a way for undocumented students who came to America as children to gain permanent residency through higher education or military service."

Americablog reports that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the DADT and DREAM measures "needlessly controversial" in a press conference yesterday.

Watch McConnell speak, AFTER THE JUMP...

Palm In related news, the Palm Center today released a "scorecard and briefing paper highlighting the key standards it will use to measure whether the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy results in genuinely equal and open service for gay and lesbian troops."

"The Palm Center paper states that 'based on the evidence and data provided by service members, veterans, experts and foreign militaries, the standard of equal and open service in any implementation plan must include three factors: a.) an affirmative non-discrimination policy; b.) one standard of conduct and facilities; and c.) leadership at all levels.'"

The document can be downloaded HERE.

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Comments

  1. Reid has demonstrated over and over and over again that he is an incompetent majority leader.

    Reid has compromised key legislation to meaningless bits of paper in order to get his own Dems to vote "yes" on leglislation from health care to financial reform.

    Reid has sacrificed many vital reforms in order to garner a couple of Republican votes, who in the end voted against the legislation anyway.

    I would not expect Reid to stand tough against any Republican conservative opposition in the repeal of DADT.

    In other words, with Reid and the other spineless Dems, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for a change.

    Posted by: Continuum | Sep 15, 2010 9:17:42 AM


  2. The biggest hurdle isn't the Republicans, it's the Democrats. The Democrats have had 2 fucking years to repeal DADT but did nothing. Zero, nadda, zippo.

    Rumor has it that Obama didn't want to offend Islamic countries in which US troops are now serving. He didn't want to repeal DADT and thus offend Islamists.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 15, 2010 9:19:37 AM


  3. DADT has been declared unconsitutional. The lawyer in that case has stated that its scope is nationwide. DADT is already dead. All of this noise surrounding a bill that doesn't even repeal DADT is to cover up the fact that our bigoted, homophobic president will appeal that ruling. Reid does exactly as he's told. We should be encouraging our senators to drop the DADT language in this bill, because it is no longer necessary.

    Posted by: gaylib | Sep 15, 2010 9:48:08 AM


  4. I don't know how others feel, but I'd like to concentrate on the court case that found DADT unconstitutional and then they can do whatever they want with the defense bill.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Sep 15, 2010 9:50:09 AM


  5. Aaaargh!
    The long, slow march of political progress is so mind-numbing and frustrating. Reminds me of that childhood boredom that *aches*...

    Posted by: Chaq | Sep 15, 2010 10:12:41 AM


  6. Wait, you mean Republicans are against repeal? What about those powerful voices: Meghan McCain, Ken Mehlman, Steve Schmidt??? Isn't the Republican party our main ally? I'm confused.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Sep 15, 2010 10:13:49 AM


  7. I think it's important that DADT is removed legislatively if possible. People already complain about judicial activism and the military always whines if they can't do things without any outside interference. But doing this with a vote is probably smoother.

    If it fails, there is still the court system. It will probably take some months before the LCR case will be final and even longer if it's appealed. So that's always an option.

    Posted by: Steve | Sep 15, 2010 10:27:56 AM


  8. Good ol' Harry Reid has loaded the Defense Authorization Act with two poison pills (the Dream Act, & money for a new fighter jet engine), in addition to the politically unpopular repeal of DADT (among some democrats and republicans in tough races in the midterm elections), that ample reason has been provided on both sides of the aisle to vote against passage. Continuing resolutions can provide defense funding on an 'as needed' basis, even if the act fails to pass because of a republican filibuster. But Pres. Obama can still do the right thing: order the DoJ to stop all attempts at appeal of Judge Phillips' holding that DADT is unconstitutional. That would stop enforcement, and make it possible for Obama to keep the promise he made.

    Posted by: Jerry | Sep 15, 2010 3:22:38 PM


  9. "politically unpopular repeal of DADT (among some democrats and republicans in tough races in the midterm elections)"

    Uh.. if it's only "unpopular" to Republicans in tough races, why is the entire party opposed?

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 15, 2010 3:52:51 PM


  10. NO WAY IS REID THE VILLAIN HERE.

    More than a year ago he asked Obama to use his legal powers to stop discharges in the name of national security, and wrote a letter to him that fall begging Obama for Presidential leadership to help end the ban.

    Obama ignored BOTH requests.

    Such an freeze order [authorized by Congress under 10 USC 12305] would not only have saved HUNDREDS more like Dan Choi from being discharged but after a year and a half in which the sky did NOT fall, no one, Repug or Dem homohaters like Jim Webb of VA, would have uttered a peep against repeal.

    Not only did Obama REFUSE to do that, not only is he letting his DOJ defend DADT AGAIN THIS VERY WEEK in the retrial of Margaret Witt, but he forced our allies in Congress in May to throw out the Military Readiness Enchancement Act leaving an amendment that does NOT require "repeal" of the law even IF passed nor requires an END to discharges even if Gates does let him "certify" repeal of the law itself.

    The Kool Aid turned out to be toxic.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Sep 15, 2010 4:57:58 PM


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