The Senate on Thursday dealt a severe blow to the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law, dimming the chances for the Clinton-era ban to be scrapped this year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) failed to garner the necessary 60 votes for a procedural motion to start considering the 2011 defense authorization bill, which contains a provision to repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. The final vote was 57-40.
Most Republicans stuck to their pledge to block any bills until a deal is reached on the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and government spending for 2011 is resolved. Republican Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who have expressed support for repealing the law, both voted no.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia also voted against cloture.
Several Republicans indicated they would support scrapping the ban, but they wanted to see an open debate process on the defense authorization bill, including the ability to offer a series of amendments. Those Republicans included Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who voted in favor of cloture on Thursday, as well as Brown and Murkowski, who on Thursday voted against proceeding to the bill.
Murkowski’s statement of support for repealing the Clinton-era law Wednesday had given repeal advocates the necessary certainty that they would have the 60 votes necessary to make repeal happen.
DADT Repeal Fails in Senate
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