The GOP has now sped up the clock running out in the U.S. Senate for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal: they say all legislation grinds to a halt until the Bush tax cuts are extended.

Daniel Foster at National Review Online’s blog The Corner has posted the letter signed by all 42 Senate Republicans to Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The gist of the GOP’s message is this: we will filibuster every single piece of legislation until we’ve first prevented the tax hike Americans will feel when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year.

The letter is worth reading, but here is a nice excerpt that should alarm social “progressives” racing to repeal DADT and the abortion ban on military bases by passing the $700 billion defense authorization bill before Christmas.

“While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

The Democrats’ schedule for acting on the defense bill is already very tight, since Reid can’t get GOP Senators – some sympathetic to DADT repeal – to break with Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) filibuster without agreeing first to allow the GOP a substantial share in the amendment process. [The Atlantic  has a good summary on this situation]

The GOP pledge to filibuster every motion to proceed until the Senate prevents the tax increase means every second devoted to debating taxes loses Reid precious time to repeal DADT and the military base abortion ban.

Who says social conservatives and Tea Party activists can’t be friends?

Read NRO’s The Corner: Republicans to Block All Bills Until Tax Cuts Resolved