Why Can’t we Get Rid of DADT ?Posted: December 8, 2010
After the Pentagon reported showed that removing the DADT policy was really a no-brainer, you’d think almost every sane congress critter would just do it and get it over with. Well, I’m not sure if ‘sane’ is the operative modifier here, but it seems we just can’t easily get rid of this discriminatory policy. Nearly every one thought that the vote would happen this evening but it’s just an on and off again farce.
“The majority leader’s allotment of time for to debate those amendments was extremely short, so I have suggested doubling the amount of time, assuring that there would be votes, and making sure that the Republicans get to pick our own amendments as opposed to the Majority Leader.”
“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” she added.
Late this evening, per Collins’ request, Reid delayed a test vote he’d planned to hold tonight.
“Everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first,” Collins said.
Collins reminded Reid that Republicans don’t want to debate anything until the tax issue is resolved. “I have urged the majority leader to postpone the vote…so that we could get the tax bill considered first — which I believe could be on the floor tomorrow — and completed by Saturday, and then move immediately to the DOD bill, but under a fair agreement.”
So, once again, we have a Republican willing to hold every one–including the Pentagon and our troops–hostage to tax cuts for millionaires. It’s just simply unbelievable that any one could support this kind of black mail. The Washington Post reports that even Lisa Murkowski is going to vote for repeal. Again, she’s holding out for ‘procedural’ demands.
GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski has decided to support repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, her spokesman tells me, potentially adding another crucial GOP vote to the Yes column and putting 60 votes within reach.
“Her vote will depend on how free and open the amendment process is, but she has reached the decision that don’t ask don’t tell ought to be repealed, provided that proper preparations are implemented,” Murkowski spokesman Michael Brumas tells me.
With the Senate set to vote tonight on DADT repeal, this statement does not guarantee that she will vote Yes. Murkowski has given herself some wiggle room here by insisting on a “free and open” amendment process.
But this is nonetheless a step foward. Murkowski had previously been hedging on whether she supports repeal; now she does. What’s more, Murkowski is saying nothing about the failure to resolve the tax deal leading her to vote No.
Also, it seems likely that if Susan Collins, the lead negotiator for GOP moderates in talks with the Dem Senate leadership, pronounces herself satisfied with the procedural offer Reid makes, Murkowski, too, could accept it.
The U.S. Senate is becoming an bastion of egotistical, partisan, billy goats who will do anything to get pork, attention, and speaking time in front of cameras. Also waiting in the wings is the START Treaty which is damned important. Republicans are stalling on issues that are important to national security and pentagon policy. This is absolutely partisan politics at its worst.
So what kind of things is Collins looking for? Again, we have some information via WAPO.
The Maine Republican has negotiated for more than a week with Reid and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on terms of an agreement favorable enough to win her vote to move forward on the defense bill, plus the support of Republicans, including Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Ensign (Nev.).
In a key concession, Reid promised Collins an opportunity for Republicans to introduce 10 amendments to the defense bill, with Democrats introducing up to five. Collins also asked for four days to debate the bill and amendments.
“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” Collins told reporters.
In an effort to shore up support, President Obama called several senators on both sides of the aisle to discuss the defense bill and other pending legislation in the last two days, the White House said. Collins said she spoke with Obama on Tuesday regarding several pieces of pending legislation.
Despite Obama’s outreach, supporters of ending the gay ban urged Reid to move first on tax cut and government spending bills to stave off a potential filibuster by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other GOP critics during the lame-duck session.
McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants the panel to hold hearings with frontline military commanders and senior noncommissioned officers before voting to repeal the law.
Senator McCain is just looking for an excuse these days to way lay the vote. So are many of his colleagues. We have a defense bill just sitting there waiting with troops sitting in battle zones. These Republican prima donnas are pulling the same damn things they’ve criticized Democratic Senators of for years. It makes no sense. It’s highly hypocritical. They all need to hear immediately from their constituents that were tired of Senate games.