Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:57 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Harry Reid must vow to hold vote on DADT repeal

By Greg Sargent

It's time.

The announcement this morning that House Dems will vote on their own stand alone bill to repeal don't ask don't tell catapults the ball back into Harry Reid's court. If repeal is going to have any chance, the Senate Majority Leader needs to indicate right now that the Senate will definitely vote on the stand-alone bill after the House sends it over.

Senate aides involved in the discussions want Reid to make it clear that this vote is a certainty before the end of the lame duck session, not just something on the wish list. They want the White House to urge Reid to commit. They point out that repeal got a major reprieve today, when the House agreed to introduce its own bill -- and they want Reid and the White House to capitalize on this momentum.

The House's willingness to pass its own repeal bill removes some of the last minute reasons Senate Dems might have had for punting on holding one more vote. As Igor Volsky notes, the House can send over its bill as a so-called "message" that holds "priveleged status," which means Reid can bring it up with far fewer procedural impediments. That could save valuable time.

What's more, while this is anything but assured, the bill is somewhat more likely to pass the Senate as a stand-alone bill than it was as part of the defense authorization measure, which the GOP successfully filibustered. Blanche Lincoln will presumably not be at the dentist again, meaning repeal supporters only need two Republicans to reach 60. Richard Lugar is signaling support. There are a number of other GOP moderates in play, and they are unlikely to mount the same procedural objections to a stand-alone bill that they did to the mammoth defense authorization measure.

Indeed, Senator Joe Lieberman has publicly indicated that the stand-alone bill has the support of at least 60 senators. "If it's a straight vote on repeal, we'll have the 60," one aide says. "There will be a recognition that it's time."

Some aides even want Reid to indicate that the DADT vote will happen before New START. If the Senate takes up New START first, it could take days, and once it passes, Senators may start going home before DADT is repealed. By contrast, if the Senate does DADT first, it will take far less time, and it won't put New START at risk, because no Senator is going to leave before that's done. Aides, however, signal that this is not likely to happen, because the White House badly wants START done.

All indications are that Reid genuinely wants repeal to happen. Indeed, aides say he is the one who asked House Dems to hold their own vote, to make it easier for the Senate to move. But repeal's odds would be greatly improved if Reid would indicate right now that a vote is definitely going to happen.

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why House Dems are in major bind over tax deal
Next: Don't let the tax cut deal's current popularity overshadow DADT repeal


"All indications are that Reid genuinely wants repeal to happen."


Huh? That's a bit of a reach - given what has already happened!

Posted by: sbj3 | December 14, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"must vow"

Isn't it OFFENSIVE to use a religious term for such a topic?


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

No matter what they say - the votes really are not there.

It is that simple.

Why would any Republican want to start off the new Congress by offending their leadership with a liberal vote on this issue??? It makes no sense.

It makes absolutely no sense.

The liberals are running around like they didn't lose the election. The American People are sick of the liberals - and they won't quit.

If the liberals think this will help them in the next election, it won't.

The liberals are really hurting themselves over the past few weeks - they are destroying any chance that people will look at their ideas in the future.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse


Any idea if there is any coordination between Hoyer/Pelosi and Reid on this issue?

Just wondering why the House would announce a vote on this if they weren't rather sure, or certain, that Reid would hold a vote as well. They surely would not be putting themselves out on a limb at this point, would they?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 14, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse


Why are you so obsessed with this issue ???

Anyway, what about Joe Manchin - he's not voting for this.

So they need three votes -

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"aides say he is the one who asked House Dems to hold their own vote, to make it easier for the Senate to move."

Doesn't that show some sincerity from Reid sbj.

sbj, if Republicans controlled either the House or the Senate, this entire discussion wouldn't be happening.

Just thought you might want to know that.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

How many republicans will vote for repeal? As usual, the GOP is the problem.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 14, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

oh and sbj, would you be putting all your chips on Angle if she had one for equality or what?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Comments Removed: 3 | ComCount: 5


Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I question that the Republicans (and possibly some Dems) are going to buy into this desperate last ditch attempt by the Dems to repeal DADT. It's failed twice this year and this is just flat-out desperation and kicking sand in the eyes of the voters. If the voters were really fired up about this issue that it's so critical, why did they elect 63 more (mainly very conservative) Republicans in the House and 6 more in the Senate? The Dems are on a fool's errand and they will continue to meet a fool's fate by pursuing such garbage.

Posted by: miyago123 | December 14, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

miyago123, you think the Nov. elections had to do with DADT?

If not, wtf are you talking about then? thnx! cheers.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

$200. to the charity of Greg's choice if it happens this session. This is all about striking poses.

But if I am wrong and I sure hope so, I'll be so pleased, I might even go to $400., if the charity is one I like anyway.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 14, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"How many republicans will vote for repeal? As usual, the GOP is the problem."

That and Congressional rules make it perfectly acceptable and easy to require 60 votes to pass anything. It's funny to me that we have just completely accepted that you need 60 votes to get it done. If Republican control didn't scare me to death, I would say something about I can't wait until they start whinning when we do it to them.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 14, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Benen had some promising news on this.

"The language of the House measure is identical to the Lieberman/Collins freestanding bill in the Senate, which is important to the extent that it will make a conference committee unnecessary.

Similarly, as Igor Volsky explained, the House is likely to send its bill as a "message," with "privileged status," will also help the Senate skip some procedural steps and expedite the process."

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

'rainforest rising' has destroyed more than one comment board by driving everyone else away, greg -- just so you know. he has all the time in the world.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 14, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

WaPo could easily get rid of the troglodyte rainforest permanently but are afraid that by banning his Class C address, other potential clickers might be prevented from accessing this page. Besides, he probably refreshes like 5 WaPo blogs obsessively providing them ad revenue, unless he's running something like NoScript. Then all he's doing is being an annoyance.

If you want to rid yourself of the pest from your screen, install this.

You can update it fairly simple with any new name the low life uses.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Reid could have held his own vote already -

This is not an appropriation bill, it doesn't have to start in the House



Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington

Use the script yourself

If you were using the script, you wouldn't care, right ???

What you are doing right now is "intent to harass" You should be banned. You are being unAmerican by complaining about the Freedom of Speech of others. The Bill of Rights is built upon TOLERANCE.

Post your comments and leave everyone else alone.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"By contrast, if the Senate does DADT first, it will take far less time, and it won't put New START at risk, because no Senator is going to leave before that's done"...Wanna bet that if Reid does this, Republican hypocrites will then say "We'll vote for DADT, but only after START gets ratified", and after that happens, there won't be enough time?

Sure, it'd be rank dishonesty, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for Republicans or their assistants in the media...

Posted by: CTVoter | December 14, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

fiona5 at 2:37 PM

It is nasty comments like yours which destroy comments boards.

Why don't you RESPECT Freedom of Speech ???

Are you unAmerican ???

The basis of the First Amendment is tolerance.

That is precisely the problem with the liberals - and their political correctness - they refuse to be tolerant. It is just so unAmerican. If you don't like the First Amendment, I'm sure North Korea will take you in.

The rest of the Earth believes in Freedom of Speech.

Now STOP your harassment of other people


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In appreciation of Greg having focused all the responsibility on Harry Reid, SJB has just sent another donation to Sharron Angle.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


Do yourself a favor and install the Troll Hunter script, per Mike's link. Most of the regular commenters have installed it, from the 400 installations noted, so Rainforest, and all his aliases, are in a soundproof booth, with the curtains closed. We don't even know he's there.

If you use Firefox, you have to install the Greasemonkey add on first.

If commenters actually interacted with rainy, I might be tempted to read what he writes. So far, there is little temptation. Even people who agree with him, don't interact with him.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


You can stop your rude harassment of other people

Everyone knows that you and your domestic "partner" are in favor of DADT and lesbian marriage.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

We can all see that the liberals enjoy acting like a group of 2nd grade girls - trying to form a clique.

Naaaa naaa Naaa Naaaaa Naaaa

Don't talk to him..... he has coodies !


Yea, real mature behavior.

The liberals are a bunch of children. You lost the election. Get over it. RESPECT the American People. RESPECT Freedom of Speech. How hard is it to RESPECT THE RESULTS OF AN ELECTION - AND TO RESPECT THE BILL OF RIGHTS ???


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think most everything hinges on the House Vote on the Tax Cut/UI extension bill heading their way.

Indeed, Senator Joe Lieberman has publicly indicated that the stand-alone bill has the support of at least 60 senators. "If it's a straight vote on repeal, we'll have the 60," one aide says. "There will be a recognition that it's time."

Greg, that is one *aide* and Lieberman *not* saying this is almost as telling as if he had said "We don't have the votes here yet to bypass the Tax Cuts." It is not quite that severe, but you need to read between the lines to understand these guys most of the time. We *are* going to be confused, because political machine was not designed to speak plainly and clearly -- That takes Statesmanship, and we have seen little of that for almost two or three generations. We are stuck with politicians instead.

As much as I disliked Carter's Policies, I appreciated his candor and honesty. I *still* disagree with a lot of his positions, but that does not diminish my respect for the man. In comparison, the rest of DC is thieves, shyters, and thugs! ALL OF THEM!!!

Make your call, Greg. But UNTIL the Tax Cut Bill passes, I think the call is futile, and worse than that, ignores the information that the polls are giving these politicians on what priority *we* Americans collectively give this issue. Our opinion on what should be done is more on your side than not, but the priority we give it is much different.


Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I just turned off greasemonkey for a moment...

Man, I got hit by a wall of stupid! That hurt.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The death of Richard Holbrooke could be a severe set back for President Obama's efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Who can he appoint to pick up where Holbrooke left off? Who has the stature with the leaders of that region, and the knowledge of the area, to be able to continue the work of Mr. Holbrooke?

Any suggestions?

The only person that I could come up with, that would have enough knowledge and prestige, to fit the job, is Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, the filibuster was almost used by "The Gang" to keep Alito from being confirmed. That was the DEMOCRATS using the filibuster, which for years, was a useful tool for them to resist extreme measures that they did not like. Of late, it is getting more use, but that is understandable, since of late, the politics in DC have become even *more* partisan. The LAST 2 YEARS made that point quite clear. Obama won, promising "bipartisanship" but only now starting down that road after being forced to by the voting public. Live with it!


Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

If this is a priority for the Senate Democratic leadership, they will find a way to make it happen. If not, then they won't.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 14, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

One Vote shows me more than any other thing said. 83 - 15. In another post, Greg acknowleges just what this can mean. There is not anything wrong in *asking* for a long shot. Just don't expect much...


Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

You and skipsailing must go to the same websites with your "live with it" instructions. I don't have to live with it, I can voice my objection to the obscene amount of obstruction just like Republicans did when Democrats filibustered.

To compare the "almost" filibuster of Alito to the constant filibuster and delay tactics of the most recent Congress is dishonest. Simply google the topic and you will find a wealth of information on how much more frequently Republicans have used the procedure and that doesn't even address other procedureal measure used to delay legislation.

And that is just speaking to generaliities. When speaking about a specific piece of legislation such as repealing DADT (on it's own or part of the defense appropriations) the filibuster flies in the face of the advice of many military leaders, the general public and the opinion of many members of the military, not to mention the Constitution. The lack of public support for PPACA led to the "shoving down our throats" meme and suddenly Republicans could care less about public opinion. Repealing DADT is not extreme; it is middle of the road. Much of that also applies to the START treaty.

So pardon me if I don't quietly "live with it."

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Attention all thinking people who are in favor of not worshiping the god of Mamon Move to Canada, the corporations are now in charge of was once USA government. The Reptilicans are just a front for Halibuton, Kegllog,Root and Brown Xon et al. Face its over Move now, soon it will be too late

Posted by: xxx5640 | December 14, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

what THis is the first one in two weeks

Posted by: xxx5640 | December 14, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, you mention START and DADT. But what about the passage of the final tax bill? Isn't a reconciliation of the Senate and House versions gonna be needed? Or are you assuming the reconciliation will be identical to the Senate bill?

If I'm right about that, then it seems to me that the the vote on the final tax bill could be held until the end.

Posted by: burosh | December 14, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

One more point: Republicans are slowing down all proceedings for one reason: to kill the DADT repeal. But the tactic also threatens ratification of the START treaty. And since Senator Lugar's first concern is the treaty, it seems to me that securing Lugar's vote on the DADT repeal, and then scheduling that vote before the treaty vote, might be possible, because it would remove most Republican motivation for further foot dragging.

Posted by: burosh | December 15, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company