UPDATED: The Votes NOT There Tonight to Repeal DADT
UPDATE: Senate Reid’s office confirmed late Wednesday that he will postpone the vote as negotiations continue with Republicans who support lifting the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is bent on bringing a defense authorization bill that reverses “don’t ask, don’t tell” to a vote tonight, but key negotiator (and repeal proponent) Joe Lieberman wants him to back off:
“I’ve been pleading with Senator Reid, don’t hold a vote on the defense authorization bill, the repeal of DADT, until we have a good opportunity to work out a fair process for the consideration bill with Senator Collins and some of the other Republican,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) this afternoon after a Dem caucus meeting. “Senator Collins really wants to vote for the bill with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Senator Scott Brown is the same and I think there may be at least one other Republican Senator to make that clear today.”
That third Republican has since been revealed as Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. [link]
Murkowski’s just been elected so she can safely earn some indy cred by voting for repeal. Brown faces election next year. With 75% of America and 70% of the military favoring repeal, where do you guess Massachusetts voters are on the issue? He’ll vote for repeal. Collins has sung this song before. It’s getting old.
Even the report on Lieberman balking ends with this:
“I think we’ve got a shot to come to a process agreement today, which will enable us to have the 60 votes tonight,” Lieberman said. “And if that happens, obviously I’m happy to have the votes.”
Obviously I’d be happy, too. But even if they fall short we could get another vote before the lame duck ends. I’m thinking DADT is finally toast!
LATER — After sayiig that for Reid to force a vote “would be the ultimate in bad faith,” Jonathan Capehart updates:
This just in from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “If a little more time on each amendment was all she’s asking, Senator Reid would have shaken her hand and called it a deal by now.”
And from Joe Sudbay, DADT negotiations collapse. Susan Collins won’t vote for Defense bill tonight. Adds he, “if Collins won’t vote for the Defense bill tonight, she probably never will.”
Agreed! Call the question.