The United States Senate was unable to move forward with the 2011 Defense Authorization bill that included an amendment that would have allowed President Barack Obama to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after the completion of a Pentagon review. There were 56 votes to bring the bill to the floor and 43 votes against. 60 votes were required.

The failure to bring the bill to the full Senate is a defeat, albeit temporary, for those advocating the repeal of DADT.

Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, argued that the majority was trying to include non-relevant amendments to the legislation and accused Democrats of using the Defense Authorization bill to push through a liberal social agenda.

DADT debate pushed back

McCain also complained that the Senate was moving forward with the legislation despite a Pentagon review on how to implement the change in the military still pending.

“This is not about filibustering, not about the reasons why we are not taking the legislation,” McCain said.

“It’s all about the battle effectiveness, the morale of the men and women serving in the military today. I think we owe them the right to have their voices heard before we act legislatively.”

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman urged his colleagues to move forward with the legislation despite the upcoming fall election.

“This is a pre-election campaign season,” Lieberman said during the pre-vote debate. “There is a lot of partisan politics going on. We have to proceed to consider the Defense Authorization Act. Our military needs it. They’re in combat.”

Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both voted against bringing the bill to the floor.

The bill will be debated once again after the November elections.