"Reid seeks to move 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal legislation - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
by Roxana Tiron
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to bring the 2011 defense authorization bill to the floor next week.
The defense bill contains critical military policy as well as a provision that would repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. Reid was scheduled to meet with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Monday afternoon to discuss his plans.
Gay rights groups view September as a critical month in the Senate for the fate of the defense authorization bill and the provision to repeal “Don't ask, don't tell.” Any action delayed until after the Nov. 2 elections could diminish the chances of repeal for the Clinton-era law.
They applauded Reid's decision to move to the bill.
“We applaud the Senate Majority Leader's courage and his statement tonight to bring the defense bill to the floor. Now, we must deliver,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization dedicated to repealing the ban. “Repeal proponents may well need 60 votes in the Senate to get to this important debate in September. We are now in the final stretch and we must prevail."
It’s unclear if Republicans will agree to consider the defense bill given the inclusion of the don't ask, don't tell repeal and other controversial provisions. Reid will need 60 votes, including at least one Republican, to move the legislation to the floor.
So far, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has opposed bringing up the defense bill and threatened a filibuster. McCain opposes several parts of the bill, including the repeal of “Don't ask, don't tell” and a provision allowing abortions to be performed in military hospitals as long as they are not paid for with federal money. "
I generally don't post other people's work to my blog, but this is an important issue which seems to be flying under the radar. I have to ask myself, if they are so certain that it won't be approved after the elections, is it something Congress should be voting on now?
If it were truly for the good of the nation, couldn't it stand up to the results of the Dept. of Defense study regarding the implementation of such a huge change in policy? (It is ironically fitting that a bill which has the potential to do so much damage to our military and our nation includes provisions for forcing military doctors to kill unborn American citizens.) Mr. McCain, whom I view as a RINO in most other things, seems to be serving his country's best interests here.
"And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. " ~Exodus 10:10