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Posted at 4:32 PM ET, 11/22/2010

Psst: DADT repeal is still not quite dead

By Greg Sargent

Okay, a quick update on what's going on with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Short version: It still isn't quite dead.

As you know, the news broke this morning that the Pentagon will release its much-anticipated report gauging the impact of repeal on November 30th, one day earlier than expected. It's reported to find that the policy can be repealed with only minimum and isolated risk. So how does this change the game?

The central question still remains: Will the Senate Democratic leadership agree to hold a cloture vote on the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal, and will the leadership commit to a two week period of floor debate? This is key because in combination with the Pentagon report, holding this debate -- and allowing the full and open amendment process that Republicans have insisted on -- could remove the last pretext GOP moderates have to withold their support.

So here's what to watch: A senior leadership aide tells me the final decision on whether to hold that cloture vote and open debate will likely be made later next week. That's because Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, has said he will hold hearings later next week on the released Pentagon report. The Senate Dem leadership intends to watch closely how the moderate GOP Senators publicly react to the Pentagon report in those hearings. If they seem to be softening, the prospect of getting 60 votes for repeal increases -- this is a real possibility, as far-fetched as it may seem -- which would ratchet up the pressure on Senate Dems to allow the cloture vote and agree to the protracted floor debate.

So that's where we are. Repeal isn't quite dead yet. But if it's going to happen, it will only be because the Senate leadership tries to make it happen.

By Greg Sargent  | November 22, 2010; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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"But if it's going to happen, it will only be because the Senate leadership tries to make it happen."

It's about damned time. . .

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Let's all hope DADT lives on and on. It's Bill Clinton's greatest, bipartisan achievment and a wonderful compromise that will prevent America's, exceptional military from going the way of the weak, Euro-weenie military.

Repeal on life support?

Pull the plug!

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs said in his news conference today that the Senate hearings for
DADT repeal will start December 1st and that is why the report was released a day earlier.

Levin wants the hearings next week so that the first Monday of December the Senate can start on the two week process of the Defense authorization act.

I suspect that the DREAM act will be voted on next week.

Don't know when there will be a vote on the START or taxes. That may come up at the last minute just before the Congress leaves for the Christmas break.

I have a feeling that the "compromise" on taxes will be a 2 year extension of ALL tax cuts provided that each year of tax cuts for the rich will be a year of unemployment insurance (2 years tax cuts for rich=2 years of unemployment insurance). Also, the "compromise" on taxes will probably include a deal on the debt ceiling and it will be tied to tax overhaul to be worked upon in 2011. There aren't 60 votes for just tax cuts for the middle class in the Senate so that won't happen.

To not piss off the base the Senate Democrats MUST work to pass DADT repeal and the DREAM act because the base will be upset with the so called tax "compromise". The sting on the tax "compromise" will be less if both DADT repeal and the DREAM act are passed.

Let's see what Schumer has up his sleeve.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

It looks like at least some of the Democrat, lame ducks are going to thumb their noses at America on their way out with legislative, stink bombs like repeal of DADT and Obama inspired, outlaw "immigrant", amnesty bills.

We can only hope the Republican patriots can once again cause failure all down the line for those liberal stinkers.

It's what's good for America.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

WHAT does Johnny Pistole say about this???

When is Congress going home for vacation? How many weeks are left?

I know the Senate actually has a two-track process. So, it is possible to devote two weeks to one bill, while other bills are being considered on the other track.

However, all the Republicans have to do is hold up for a few weeks - and their numbers increase. Why would any Republican agree to work with Obama under those conditions ? Especially when the liberals are talking in such scorched-Earth terms about never compromising.

That is just the rub - the democrats talk tough, but at the same time they really need Republicans to work with them.

In addition, Mark Kirk will be sworn in, so the democrats lose one vote in the Senate this coming Monday.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

CNN is reporting today that Plouffe is entering the White House in January while Axelrod is leaving earlier then expected. Axelrod will be leaving right after the State of the Union which will be at the end of January or early February.

Axelrod is leaving early to get a break before he has to start on Obama's re-election campaign. I suspect that Axelrod will take off for two or three months to rest. He needs it. He has been going full throttle since 2007.

I am glad that Plouffe is starting earlier. He is as organized as Axelrod was disorganized. Hopefully Plouffe is what Obama needs to sharpen the message and coordinate with Schumer on the combo of policy and message. Plouffe has always been much more on the ball than Axelrod.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 22, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's be serious here. HOW MANY Republican votes are out there for this?

Is Lisa Murkowski still a part of the Republican leadership? Is she going to keep that position??? I really can not see her going out on a limb for DADT

The Republicans just won the election. And somehow the democrats believe they have Republicans who are going to go against their own party, and start to implement the liberal agenda in a lame duck session ??? It just seems like a stretch to me.

I don't see Joe Manchin voting with the democrats on any high-profile liberal agenda issue.

That means the democrats need at least 3 Republican Senate votes. I don't know about Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln, however those two will probably not be too eager to cast this vote either.

I don't know about the other democrats - many of which are up for re-election.

The other Republican Senators, why would they want to go with Obama during this lame duck ???

Let me be clear about something else: if Obama was so intent on pushing through these items, early last summer was the time for it. If Obama really thought a lame duck push-through was possible, he shouldn't be going on these foreign trips, he should be lining up the votes during the entire month of November.

Obama has done little on any of this all month. Next week it will be December 1.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I have not heard of Republican Senators willing to hand Obama a victory in this atmosphere.

Linda Murkowski is not going to do it, she is going to try to keep her leadership position.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 22, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It's actually not a gays in the military issue. It's a lesbians in the military issue.

Women comprise 14 percent of the armed forces, but 50 percent of the DADT discharges. It's all about women becoming more tolerant of lesbians, not men becoming more tolerant of gays.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 23, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Leftist hack Sargent indulges himself in wishful thinking and pipe dreams as usual.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 23, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Here's what most young people think of DADT:

Just let it go!

Posted by: scathingres | November 24, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

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