Following up to our previously posted story on the possibility of a Senate vote on DADT repeal this evening: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has postponed voting to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Although many believe repeal has the votes to pass, inside baseball appears to be holding it up. Check out this article from The Advocate.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid has postponed a full vote in the Senate on the bill that includes language to repeal the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian troops.
The postponement comes as Reid negotiated for days with Republican senator Susan Collins, who supports the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" but wants a "fair and open" process for the Defense Authorization spending bill, which contains the DADT repeal.
As a result of the talks, Senate Republicans will have the opportunity to propose 10 amendments to the spending bill, and Democrats can propose five. Each amendment will be subject to two hours of debate.
Collins declared, before the postponement, that she would not vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor if it were scheduled to take place Wednesday night, as earlier reports proposed. Instead, the senator from Maine said the Republicans will block legislation until Congress formally addresses whether to keep or extend Bush-era tax cuts.
"I reminded the majority leader, as has Senator [Joseph] Lieberman, that everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first [before the defense authorization bill is brought up]," Collins said, according to The Hill. She stipulated that if Reid postponed the vote until after the tax vote, "I'll do everything I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not. This is the same position that I've had all along ... if you really care about the defense authorization and the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' then you would accept the proposal."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday afternoon that President Barack Obama has made several calls to Democrats and Republicans to win their support in repealing "don't ask, don't tell" and passing the DREAM Act, which offers a road to citizenship for immigrants.
"I think we are — on 'don't ask, don't tell,' I think we are very, very close to seeing that repeal pass," Gibbs said. "You’ve had important endorsements over the past few days. And I think, in many ways, as a result of the process and the survey that the Pentagon issued last week, the president is hopeful and encouraging Democrats and Republicans to get behind that repeal."