Since Thursday's failed cloture vote, ostensibly on the Defense Authorization bill, but in reality on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," followed quickly by the announcement that Joe Lieberman would introduce a standalone bill to end the discriminatory policy, there has been remarkably little news on where things stand on this last chance to end the U.S. military's official policy of discrimination.
Today TPM gives us run down:
There are three obstacles facing that bill: first, it has to attract enough supporters to move on the Senate floor (that magic 60 votes); second, room has to be found for the bill the crowded lame duck calendar; and third, the House must be able to pass it's own version of the repeal, and do it quickly.
Reports Monday and sources on the Hill report that the standalone bill is making progress on all fronts.
And indeed it is. The Republican hostage situation over tax cuts for millionaires -- their gun to the head on moving forward with any other legislation -- is on the verge of passing, support among senators is growing, and the House is ready to roll on getting their version of the bill up for vote. So the only real obstacle is the calendar.
The question is, will Democrats give up their planned, extended holiday break -- currently scheduled to begin this Friday -- and stay in Washington to complete this last hope to finally end "don't ask, don't tell"?