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'DADT' UPDATE: Where We Stand in the Senate — Lieberman Pushes, Reid Stalls, White House Gets Defensive

Lieberman

UPDATE: Service members announce Senate sit-in.

At 12:15 pm ET Friday Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is announcing they are holding a sit-in in the Senate gallery until a 'DADT' repeal vote is taken. Senator Joseph Lieberman is planning to join them at the press conference.

Servicemembers United has also been actively lobbying (see end of post).

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With more than 60 noted commitments to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the Senate, it appears that the only factor in the way right now is time, scheduling, and will. However, if 'DADT' is to be repealed legislatively, it must be done this year.

Senator Joe Lieberman appeared on MSNBC this afternoon and said that he believes 'DADT' repeal should be voted on this weekend, before any vote on the START treaty, because the treaty can be ratified next year.

At his press briefing this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that he doesn't know if he'll bring the bill up before Christmas, but promised a vote on 'DADT' and other measures before the end of the year.

"I'm not sure we can get that done now. I'd like to get it done, but I'm not sure we can."

It's unclear who would return after Christmas break for a vote. And the measure must be passed in the lame duck or repeal is toast legislatively.

Then later, in his press briefing, Robert Gibbs was unwilling to give an answer why Obama isn't using his position as a bully pulpit to get the measure passed. When pushed on it, Gibbs seemed to get defensive:

"Let’s be clear, we would not be at this point if it wasn’t for the President’s leadership in bringing this issue to the floor. You mentioned, I believe we have the votes….There is time to do this if there are those on the other side of the aisle that wish to get this done and it’s clear that whether it’s Senator Brown or Senator Murkowski or Senator Snowe or others, there is an effort to get this done if we have time to."

Finally, Joe Biden (See clip below) doesn't want to hear the Senate nonsense about Christmas! He was talking about the START treaty, but when is one of our leaders going to start making these demands about DADT?

In related news, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is still undecided about where he stands on the issue.

Active lobbying is being undertaken by Servicemembers United

Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, announced today that, for a second day in a row, teams of DADT repeal advocates have fanned out across Capitol Hill as part of the Servicemembers United Action Fund's "OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT." The campaign is geared toward raising visibility for the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" issue on Capitol Hill in the waning days of the lame duck session and toward pressuring Senate offices that are supportive of repeal to also support staying in session long enough to let the issue get a final vote.

Snow_capitol "Despite the ongoing snow storm in Washington, DC right now, gay veterans and allies are storming the Hill for a second day in a row to demand that the Senate finish the job on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' before leaving for the holidays," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the Servicemembers United Action Fund. "The fact that these advocates are braving the snow to fight for what they believe in should demonstrate that we will not accept any excuses from lawmakers for failing to get this done, including bad weather or time running out."

Repeal supporters will be on the Hill for one final day on Friday as part of this campaign. Those interested in joining OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT on Friday, December 17th from 1:00pm - 4:00pm should contact Jarrod Chlapowski at jchlapowski@servicemembersunited.org today.

What you can do is contact your Senators, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and demand a vote on 'DADT' before the holidays.

The phone number for the switchboard is (202) 224-3121. Call today.

You can also sign Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's petition demanding the Senate pass repeal.

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Comments

  1. Lieberman is playing a game. What that game is, I'm not quite sure, but I bet it has a lot to do with working with the GOP in the coming Congress.

    He knows damn well that START cannot be delayed until the next Congress. He knows damn well it's a critical treaty with widespread support in the GOP. He knows damn well this is all part of a game to damage the Democratic majority and he is gleefully joining in.

    Posted by: BobN | Dec 16, 2010 6:46:18 PM


  2. Stalling, stalling, stalling. This is officially embarrassing. This policy is an ongoing source of humiliation for intelligent Americans and we need to get rid of it NOW.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tndjSUH8o0M

    or if you want the gist in less than two minutes......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMZgvt-8QQg

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 16, 2010 6:57:17 PM


  3. So they have the votes, but Reid wants to wait. I just don't it. Can't wait till 2012. Can't they get anything done.

    Posted by: Name: | Dec 16, 2010 7:18:35 PM


  4. Seventeen years ago, a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President created the discriminatory travesty that is DADT.

    Today, another Democratic Congress and another Democratic President are on the hook to deliver on years and years of Dem promises and condescending exhortations to "just wait," "just donate," "just vote for us anyway." Either they deliver, or from now on our response must be "no, no and no." Period.

    Posted by: the greasybear | Dec 16, 2010 7:25:57 PM


  5. the fix is in


    they have the votes but Obama + Reid don't want it to pass and won't find the time for the vote

    Yes, Obama is included in that because all he has to do is dial a phone and put .00001% of the effort he showed in welfare for the rich into telling reid to schedule a vote

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Dec 16, 2010 7:50:24 PM


  6. NOT GONNA HAPPEN

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 16, 2010 8:03:40 PM


  7. That would be Nancy Pelosi's leadership that got us to this point, Gibbs. Obama hasn't made this a priority, and you won't convince me otherwise.

    Posted by: Skye Winspur | Dec 16, 2010 8:38:13 PM


  8. WHAT???? SLDN finally endorsing direct action???? Apparently Hell as well as DC has frozen over.

    Gibbs was right up to a point. He should have stopped at: "Let’s be clear, we would not be at this point if it wasn’t for the President." That point would be: no return.

    Since SLDN has joined HRC in choosing AGAIN not to pressure the President, here's the White House telephone #: 202-456-1414.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Dec 17, 2010 12:15:04 AM


  9. Seventeen years ago, a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President created the discriminatory travesty that is DADT.

    Today, another Democratic Congress and another Democratic President are on the hook to deliver on years and years of Dem promises and condescending exhortations to "just wait," "just donate," "just vote for us anyway." Either they deliver, or from now on our response must be "no, no and no." Period.

    POSTED BY: THE GREASYBEAR | DEC 16, 2010 7:25:57 PM


    Miss Greasyspoon it was a Democratic and a REPUBLICAN congress! along with ConservaDems. Get it right...ggrrrr....

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 17, 2010 1:43:43 AM


  10. Gibbs is half-right. We wouldn't be at this point, except Obama's team appealed the unconstitutionality of DADT. DADT was dead, LGBT people were enlisting openly, and he stepped in to breathe new life into it.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 17, 2010 6:19:40 AM


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