Peter J. Smith


D-Day for “Don’t ask, don’t tell” begins Wednesday in Senate

Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2010 ( – A vote on repealing the law banning homosexuals from military service will happen in the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a series of cloture votes in the U.S. Senate today that will test the strength of the GOP-led filibuster.

Republicans have pledged that until the Bush tax cuts are renewed and the federal budget funded for next year, they would not allow any other items to proceed. This includes debate on the more than $700 billion defense authorization bill for FY2011 that would repeal the federal ban on homosexual military service (often referred by the corresponding enforcement policy “Don’t ask, don’t tell”) and allow elective abortions on military bases.

Reid’s move comes a day after Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) announced that he was switching his stance from opposing DADT repeal to supporting repeal.

“I have now carefully reviewed all of the findings, reports, and testimony from our armed forces on this matter and I accept the Pentagon’s recommendations to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Pryor said in yesterday’s statement.

Reid will need to get two of the GOP’s 42 member caucus to break their filibuster; however, even the most vocal Republican advocate of DADT repeal, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), says she wants guarantees of more hearings and plenty of debate on amendments before voting for cloture.

Developing …

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