13 Democratic Senators had a news conference today discussing the repeal of DADT in the Senate. Lieberman who has been the point man in the Senate on repeal said during the conference that he has secured the votes necessary to repeal DADT while it is in the Defense Act bill. This fantastic news!!!
Like health care reform looked dead right after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate race, DADT repeal looked like it was on death's door just a week ago. With gay activists working night and day to salvage it, all looked lost when WSJ reported that Senator Levin was working with Senator McCain to strip the repeal out of the Defense Authorization bill because of the lack of time and will in the Senate to pass it with repeal.
Well Lieberman says today in conference that he has secured the votes for repeal of DADT!!!
In a show of resolve, a baker’s dozen of Democratic senators, led by Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, held a news conference to proclaim that they had secured the votes to authorize repeal of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy regarding gay soldiers.
The Senators at the press conference said that those votes are contingent on the following:
The senators said that the crucial support of Republicans would hinge on whether Senate leaders allow a relatively free-flowing debate on the military policy bill that includes the language authorizing repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military – and they urged the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to do so.
Mr. Reid said on Wednesday that he would bring the bill to the floor, including the repeal provisions, in a direct challenge to Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, who has indicated that he will try to block the measure. Mr. McCain similarly led colleagues in stopping the bill in September.
Reid has said that he will allow both sides to bring up amendments.
"I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization bill with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process,"
Some Senators have said that they will work through Christmas to get this done.
Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, said he would be willing to work through Christmas Eve to get the legislation done, prompting Mr. Lieberman, who is Jewish, to say he would work through the eighth night of Hanukkah.