The repeal of the ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the military has about a month to be passed because incoming Republicans, who will control the House and now have a larger portion of the Senate, are likely to let the plan lapse, according to Politico.
The path to undoing the 17-year-old law is riddled with roadblocks: a crowded lame-duck calendar, Democratic defectors, and emboldened Republican senators who have no desire to hand a legislative victory to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Unless Democrats completely neglect the tax-hike issue and everything else they’ve been talking about lately, like the DREAM Act, the START treaty and controversial nominees, they won’t be able to finish it,” one senior Senate GOP aide, told Politico.
The repeal is linked to a defense authorization bill, and Senate Republicans have already blocked the bill once before over this issue. The 60 votes needed for repeal probably don’t exist now, and there is no clear path to passage if the repeal remains embedded in the larger defense bill.
Reid, D-Nev., pledged this week to bring the bill to the floor again next month, saying Congress must end “this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so.” And Sen. Joe Lieberman, an professed independent who tends to vote with Democrats, told Politico Thursday he was “confident” there are at least 60 votes in the Senate to overcome another GOP filibuster.
“The movement to end the injustice of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is alive and well, and we’re going to keep fighting in the spirit of the American military until we get the job done,” said Lieberman.
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