November 17th, 2010
09:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Reid to push DADT repeal

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nevada) has said he will try to bring a measure to repeal the controversial Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy - which prevents gays from serving openly in the military– to the Senate floor after Thanksgiving.

"During the work period following the Thanksgiving holidays, I will bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor, including a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Our Defense Department supports repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces. We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so," Reid said in a statement.

Reid will need 60 votes to bring the measure to the floor if those who oppose the repeal, including Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), decide to keep their promise to block it.

Senator Carl Levin (D- Michigan), the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee who supports repealing the law, earlier discussed two methods that supporters of a repeal could use to bring the measure to the floor. Both avenues face hurdles.

One plan would include a repeal of DADT as part of the Department of Defense Authorization bill– a move which could help passage as senators who oppose it would be forced to make a politically risky vote against military spending as well. Opponents, including McCain, have criticized such a plan.

On Tuesday, Levin told reporters on Capitol Hill that it is possible the vote on repeal could be considered separately from the defense authorization bill. Supporters of repeal have expressed concern that presenting it as a stand alone measure may result in fewer votes.

Levin responded to Reid's statement on Wednesday.

“I welcome Senator Reid’s announcement that he will bring up the National Defense Authorization Act after Thanksgiving. I will work hard to overcome the filibuster so that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed and the NDAA - which is critical to our national security and the well-being of our troops - is adopted," Levin said in a statement.

“I have asked Senator Reid to make his motion to bring up the matter after my committee and the public have received the defense department’s report and following the hearings that I plan to hold on the matter, which should take place during the first few days of December.”

Several senators on the fence about the repeal have stated that they are waiting for a report by the military, expected December 1, on the impact of a proposed repeal, before they will make a decision.

- CNN's Dana Bash, Adam Levine and Charlie Keyes contributed to this report.

Filed under: Carl Levin • Don't Ask Don't Tell • Harry Reid
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    Great! I'm so pleased as the alternative to Reid, Angle,would have never done what needs to be done and would have worked to only undermining the Obama agenda!

    November 18, 2010 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don't "TRY" Harry, pull a Nike and 'Just Do It'!

    November 18, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
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