Thursday, May 27, 2010

With Senator Ben Nelson's support, vote on conditional repeal of "don't ask don't tell" is likely in both Houses of Congress today

Conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson (somewhat akin to former Senator Sam Nunn, an author of DADT but now a leading proponent of reigning in on nuclear waste around the world) from Nebraska says he will vote for a provisional end to “don’t ask don’t tell”, contingent on Pentagon review, adding to prospects that a provisional repeal will come out of the Armed Services Committee and pass the Senate. The Salon story link is here.

Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa all agreed to cooperate with the provision of requiring Pentagon approval.

Those pushing for repeal of the ban want to pass a provisional bill now because they fear Republican advances in Congress this midterm because of public anger over bailouts and future tax increases. It seems as though two years is a short term memory.

Other media reports suggest that passage of repeal is still a difficult shot. On Wednesday May 26 The “conservative” Washington Times ran a front page story by David Eldridge, Sean Lengell and Hillary May, “Delay urged on military gay ban: election year cited for rush”, link here. But Thursday TWT offered a story on Nelson's vote by Lengell alone.

On Thursday morning, the Associated Press (Ann Flaherty) reported that the House would vote on a “conditional repeal only” bill today (May 27), and that the Senate would vote a similar measure (part of a larger bill) out of committee. The AP original story is here.

I’ll track down the precise text on govtrack and give the links as soon as it’s all more official.

Update: late Thursday: it passed the House tonight.

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