Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this morning on the Senate floor that a cloture vote on the 2011 Defense Authorization bill, which includes repeal language for the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, could be voted on tonight if time allowed, according to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
“And I’m likely going to move to my motion to reconsider on the Defense Authorization Act this evening,” Reid said. “Allowing, as I will indicate at that time, time for amendments to that piece of legislation.”
According to SLDN, Reid is “actively reaching out to his Republican colleagues to reach an agreement on how to proceed.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cast doubt on a lame-duck repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
When asked by host David Gregory whether or not the Senate will vote to repeal the policy in light of a recent Pentagon report stating as much as 70 percent of military servicemembers believed repeal would be positive or have no impact on the military’s morale, McConnell said that he favored Sen. John McCain’s (R-Az.) view on the issue and would “follow his lead.”
“People are talking like that, that is the only issue,” McConnell said. “That defense bill also has abortions in military hospitals. Once you get on the defense bill, it typically takes two weeks. I don't see how we can possibly finish the Defense Authorization Bill, a two-week bill, wholly aside from these controversial items that are in it — there are a whole lot of other things in it — before the end of the year.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv.) today stating that the entire GOP senate caucus will block cloture votes on any issue, including the planned 2011 Defense Authorization bill that includes repeal language for the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, until funding for the government and tax issues are settled, according to the Washington Post.
McConnell and the 41 other GOP senators are calling for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire Dec. 31.
All 42 current Republican senators signed the letter to the Majority Leader.