Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown today voiced his support for a stand-alone repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, bringing the bill one vote over the 60-vote threshold that it will need to reach if and when the Senate votes on the measure in the coming weeks.“Sen. Brown accepts the Pentagon’s recommendation to repeal the policy after proper preparations have been completed. If and when a clean repeal bill comes up for a vote, he will support it,” said Brown spokesperson Gail Gitcho.This move would lead to the repeal of the US law that prohibits the service of homosexuals in the US Armed Forces - 10 USC 654. It has taken Executive Orders to establish the DADT policy to circumvent the outright ban. The repeal of the statute requires legislative action, which has been a long time coming.
Brown’s backing means that – on paper – supporters of the repeal have 61 senators in favor of the bill. On Wednesday Republicans Olympia Snowe of Maine and Lisa Murkowski both announced their support for the stand-alone repeal. The House passed the clean repeal on Wednesday and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to bring it to a vote in the Senate before the end of the year.
Despite Brown's support, this bill might not see the floor for a vote because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warns that there may not be time to secure passage in a tight agenda with the holidays looming. It's asinine to believe that Reid can't manage to find the time to secure passage of the DADT repeal and suggests that it just isn't high enough on his priorities to make it happen, although he'll point to the necessity of passing the START treaty and other legislation. Reid's leadership has been wanting, and this is yet another sign that Reid should not have been granted the leadership post by his fellow Democrats.
Congress has failed to pass budget legislation and is operating on continuing budget resolutions to fund government operations. That blame rests with the leadership in both the House and Senate. That there is a lack of time to secure passage of the remaining legislation on the calendar is the fault of the leadership on both sides of the aisle.