Friday, December 17, 2010

Senate Scheduled to Vote on DADT Repeal on Saturday

This is it, boys and girls, the moment we've been waiting to see for 17 years. On Thursday night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the senate will vote on the stand-alone bill repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The move comes after passage of two year extension of the Bush tax cuts, which includes a 2% cut in payroll taxes across the board.

The senate will first take up the DREAM Act, which provides for a path to citizenship to children whose parents brought them into the U.S. illegally. Once this bill is out of the way, the senate will take on DADT repeal.

The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld reports:
Sen. Joe Lieberman reaffirmed his assertion that the repeal bill does have enough votes.

"I am confident that we have more than 60 votes to end this law that discriminates against military service members based solely on their sexual orientation," Lieberman said in a statement.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also said Thursday he thought the measure has the support to pass.

“I believe we have the votes,” he said in response to a question from The Advocate. “It’s clear that whether it’s Senator Brown or Senator Murkowski or Senator Snowe or others, there is an effort to get this done if we have time to.” (Video of the exchange here.

Here’s the breakdown: of the 58 Democratic senators, 56 are likely to vote for passage (excluding Sen. Joe Manchin, who joined the last GOP filibuster of the defense authorization bill, and Sen. Ron Wyden, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing surgery Monday); but the support of GOP senators Susan Collins, Scott Brown, and Lisa Murkowski brings the count to 59, and most believe Sen. Olympia Snowe will also come along since she has signaled support for repeal though not specifically the stand-alone bill itself. A few other GOP senators, such as Richard Lugar and George Voinovich, are also potential gets.

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