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Posted at 7:12 PM ET, 11/17/2010

'Don't ask, don't tell' repeal will return to Senate floor, Reid says

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 8:30 p.m.
The Senate will reconsider next month an end to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning gays from openly serving in uniform, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday.

Reid said that language ending the 17-year-old ban on gays in the military will be part of the annual defense authorization bill, which sets Pentagon policy and funding.

In a key concession to moderate Republicans seeking a fair debate on the measure, Reid is expected to allow senators of both parties to offer amendments to the bill, according to aides. The move could woo the support of at least some senators who have said they would vote to end the gay ban if Reid permitted them to offer amendments.

The decision was announced during a Capitol Hill meeting Wednesday that gathered Reid, gay rights leaders and senior White House aides, and it comes as the Obama administration intensifies its efforts to ensure the gay ban is ended this year.

The attendance of Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, Legislative Affairs Aide Phil Schiliro and other aides at Wednesday's meeting follows weeks of complaints from gay rights leaders that the White House wasn't working hard enough to fulfill President Obama's campaign pledge to end the gay ban during his administration.

Separately, Obama phoned Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on Wednesday to reiterate his commitment to keeping repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in the defense bill, White House aides said. Levin said Tuesday that he would be open to moving the defense bill without language that ends the gay ban.

The defense bill still faces significant obstacles. Conservative Republicans could still block a vote on the bill by threatening a filibuster; Reid would then need 60 votes to overcome that threat. Meanwhile, a bevy of senators will not decide how to vote on the issue until after reading a Pentagon report, due Dec. 1, regarding how lifting the ban could impact troop readiness and morale. The report is expected to conclude that the military could lift the ban with minimal, isolated risk, according to sources who shared details last week with The Washington Post.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has signaled he may block efforts to end the ban this year, saying lawmakers should wait for the Pentagon to conduct further studies on the matter before voting.

Reid also said Wednesday that he plans to reintroduce DREAM Act as a standalone bill. The measure would create citizenship opportunities for the children of illegal immigrants who enroll in college or the military. Reid tried to add the act to the defense bill in September, but backtracked amid stiff Republican opposition.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2010; 7:12 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Military  
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Comments

"Reid also said Wednesday that he plans to reintroduce DREAM Act as a standalone bill. "

Why? The dream act is DOA. Waste of time.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 17, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who believes we can afford this immigration nightmare needs to see a psychiatrist while we are in a massive recession. You cannot trust the Liberal Press or far left wing Liberals that includes Senator Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Janet Napolitano and Socialist Czars in the Obama administration that offer a population figures of 12 million aliens who have illegally migrated here, needs to be certified? DO SOMETHING TO HELP YOUR FELLOW TAXPAYING CITIZEN OR RESIDENT, OR THE IRS WILL BE LOOKING FOR YOU TO PAY FOR THE NEXT AMNESTY. THIS IS ANOTHER SPENDING SPREE COMPLIMENTS OF THE LIBERALS. Lawmakers cannot even tell the truth about funding Sanctuary Cities across the country. Even the courts have been infiltrated by left progressives, who are taking away the rights of States.These corrupted legislators will not even tell you the real costs, for settling instant-citizenship infants (Anchor Babies?) Here is the last chance to harass your Senator or Representative by phoning (202)224-3121. Challenge them to stop the Left wing zealots for planting another Amnesty in America called the DREAM ACT. Google—Want facts, not lies, go to www.numbersusa.com (Free Faxing Washington) website for the truth and learn about the corruption hidden from view at www.judicialwatch.org

Posted by: infinity555 | November 17, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I am against any human rights or civil rights for homosexuals.

An immoral sexual act in which feces is shoved into another man's anus, is against God's law.

Why don't all these homosexuals just commit suicide? Here's a good book for starters: Final Exit.

Posted by: Gone_Rogue | November 18, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It seems as if both parties are trying to figure out not how to do the right thing by the military or for gays, but how to achieve maximum political gain.

Why not just fix this with an orderly process and be done with it, instead of grandstanding and trying to get political points by jamming it in an unrelated bill?

Posted by: Benson | November 18, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

We're all avoiding the topic of DADT and rape...here's a video that explains:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xiJbsBuI7I

Posted by: scathingres | November 18, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gone Rogue - "god" doesn't exist. You probably believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, which means that you're an idiot. Regardless, you're an idiot. Wait, doesn't "god's law" also involve not judging other people? The Equal Protection Clause says nothing with respect to god or homosexuals.

Posted by: cohenj2 | November 18, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse


The Dream Act is just more far-left deceit, spin and lies. Over 95% of all illegal aliens would be eligible since the age limit is 35 and it's not possible to determine how long an illegal has been here.

Nothing could be more wrong that giving illegal aliens the same privileges as U.S. citizens much less giving them even MORE privileges than U.S. citizens. Having taxpayers pay to allow illegal's to have a cheaper education than our own citizens is absolutely insane and wrong.

Posted by: hunter340 | November 18, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

The full frontal attack, on America, by the radical, homosexual lobby and it's Democrat enablers is one of the main reasons Barack Obama is disgraced and the Obamacrats have been given a historic, bums rush.

America does not need a homosexual military. Our military is the best in the world because it does not follow all the trendy, Euro-weenie fads that seem to spell the end of a country's martial will.

The Catholic Church was almost destroyed when it let homosexuals run rampant in it's priesthood. Little boys were dropping like flies and the Church is now paying out multiple millions in reparations.

It's a PANDORA'S BOX situation. It's best not to open it in the first place.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 18, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Ed, shouldn't you be more concerned about your tax rates that go up in January than whether you can openly enlist?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 18, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Some of the people who are posting here today are clearly not decent human beings if they, indeed, are human beings at all. Someone who names himself Gone_Rogue is certainly the least human of us all and is certainly not a Christian....Jesus taught us "Judge not lest you be judged...Condemn not lest you be condemned". I don't know if you are worried Gone_Rogue but I think you should be.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | November 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I heard a story a few days ago (and no, I cannot say 100% for sure that it is true), about an Army Captain, forward deployed in a combat zone in Afghanistan, who is in command of an outpost that is under constant threat of attack. This young man has the extra burden of having a relationship back home that is falling apart (as happens many times with our troops). In most circumstances the Army has a process that includes Chaplains, councilors and a host of people that are trained to help a soldier in this situation, but since this man is gay, he cannot talk to anyone about what he is going through. The pain of a break-up, the possible financial ruin, or even who is taking care of his dog, weigh on him every moment of every day.
The result of this tale is that we have an officer with combat responsibility who is facing an immense personal crisis alone, that could impact his decisions that mean life or death to his troops, and because of DADT, the Army has no way of knowing that something like this is happening, and he can’t let them know without fear of being discharged.
DADT is a half-way compromise that is not really about the culture wars in the US, nor is it about the fears of heterosexual soldiers and community showers or foxholes. When a piece of intelligence is not analyzed because there is a shortage of Arabic linguists, when a shoulder dies because there is no medic available to treat him, or when an overworked specialist in some field does not do his job correctly because his relief was discharged, the results could include death to themselves and others.
This policy needs to be addressed now. A compromise from nearly 20 years ago is no longer valid, and puts our soldiers and sailors at greater risk. From the viewpoint of a gay veteran I know how I would like to see it resolved, but even if it does not go the way I would like, the policy needs to be revisited and modified to make sure our troops are afforded the best opportunity to come home when their tours of duty end. DADT is not a policy that provides this type of security for our troops. It cannot be allowed to continue because of politics or a group of gutless wonders like the current democratic leadership. Surrendering today, to fight again in the future is only worthwhile when you get to keep your job, your big desk and your staff. It could mean a flight home in a body bag for the people this really impacts.


Posted by: The_Rat | November 18, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

gilbertpb40, way to damn yourself by judging. Way to go.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou382 | November 18, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

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