Congressman attempts to block 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
January 15th, 2011
02:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Congressman attempts to block 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

(CNN) - The repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy may hit a road block in Congress next week.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, is drafting a bill that would change how - and possibly if - the repeal is implemented. The repeal law passed in December requires the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to certify that the military is ready for the change. Hunter's bill would require the four service chiefs to also sign off on the policy change.

At a December hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force chiefs expressed concern about the effect a possible repeal of the ban on homosexuals openly serving in the military would have on active combat units.

Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Hunter, said the congressman wants the chiefs involved in the process to ensure the repeal "doesn't impact combat readiness."

Kasper said Hunter has 18 co-sponsors for the bill, but expects to receive "an avalanche of co-sponsors" after he circulates the draft to his colleagues.

The tentative plan is to introduce the bill in the middle of next week.

Hunter, a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which passed in the lame-duck session of Congress. However, even if the bill passes in the House, it is unlikely that the Senate would consider similar legislation. Such a bill would also face a presidential veto.

–Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter: @deirdrewalshcnn

Filed under: Congress • Don't Ask Don't Tell • Duncan Hunter
soundoff (30 Responses)

    May God Bless You, Rep. Hunter!!! Good Luck in your efforts. STOP the socialist agenda of President Obama!

    January 15, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. lynn

    Here we go again, the party of NO is alive and well. There was no truce whatsoever, they were just laying low during the week following the Tucson shootings, for fear of looking like the jerks they really are.

    January 15, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Namejilli

    Why the constant retreat by the republicans? One of the problems with this country is that we've lost at least a decade of progress. While we were standing still, marking time, the rest of the world was moving forward. We've not only lost ground, other countries have continued to move forward in the ever-changing world. And all the republicans want to do is regress. And folks wonder why most think they're children won't have it as good as they did. We can't stay locked in the 1980's mindset forever or we'll continue to lose our standing in the world community.

    January 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. B

    People like Hunter are holding this country back with this issue and also their attempt to repeal the Health care legislation.

    I think that it is mostly Politics for the base , but what a waste of time and money when we have so many huge problems to deal with trying to move forward.

    January 15, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Rob in Det

    next election cycle vote this guy out!

    January 15, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Jack

    Why can't some Republicans just move on and look to the future? Trying to repeal laws recently passed is a non-starter and a complete waste of taxpayers (my ) money. Try and come up with new legislation that addresses all the ills we have e.g. jobs, education, energy independence etc.

    January 15, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California is about to become a real screw-up. Our military is set up to be run on orders of the CIC or President and not run on the opinions of the congress. Now he wants to take the powers from the Sec. of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff put it in the hands of the Chiefs of the individual branches of the military. His idea can lead to making the military a political arm of the prevailing party in power at the time. This will create a division within the ranks of the military and lead to the failure of our government. Our military was set-up origionally to avoid the very situation he is attempting to put in place. This congress person and any others that join with him would be putting in place the situation by which our nation would fall. Congressman please go home and play with your toy soldiers in the sand box in your back yard and leave our military alone.

    January 15, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. John in Brooklyn

    Libertarians take note! The Republicans are NOT in favor of protecting the rights of citizens from the power of the government. Instead, they support the notion that the government should LIMIT the rights of individuals who happen to be gay. If you are TRULY CANNOT support the Republican agenda!

    January 15, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. 4merRepubCT

    This is great – will all the members of the military also have the opportunity to express their concerns, and perhaps block, stop-loss, or troop movements, etc.? I think a democratized military is exactly what we need.

    January 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Jeff Spangler

    Sounds like a last gasp conservative postscript to a legislatively and judicially settled issue. I wonder if DoD will follow up implementation of the repeal by tallying the number of people who decline to enlist or reenlist due to the new policy? How else will they evaluate the effect of the new policy?

    January 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. John

    Republicans seem never to miss a chance to play to bigotry. This is at best a symbolic gesture by Hunter, however, since the train he has in mind has already left the station.

    January 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Marcus

    I usually compares the repeal of DADT with the end of the segregation in the Military Forces because much of the rethoric used against gays & lesbians serving openly is the same used by the racists back then, especially AFTER the WWII when most (if not all) of what they claimed that would happen with black battalions fighting for the US in the battlefields was proven as more worthless than it seemed at first.
    They, the racists, got very desperate when their rantings started to be exposed as the baseless claims that they were. Did that prevented that they, especially in the South, disqualified the medals that black soldiers brought back with them as 'uppities' and punished those 'fake heroes'? No, unfortunately.
    Now take a look at this guy, he wants that bigotry (this time motived by the sexual orientation/choice/whatever of the victim of it) stays alive in the Military forces, he's disregarding whatever good (and we're talking about a lot of honorable services in here) that gays and lesbians have done and are doing and will do for the US military forces because...
    He's SOOOOOOO right about them...
    Like those fellas thought that they were, decades ago.

    January 15, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    another homo-phobic Republican! Why am I not surprised. This is why when I hear about groups such as GOPride and the Log Cabin Republicans I just shake my head and laugh.

    January 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Gregory

    Second Amendment work: Why not require gun owners to carry insurance, like car owners. insurance against self, property and the taking the life of another human being. You know, insurance companies would lobby for gun safety and other assurances. This way, anyone who wants to have a gun can, but it their gun causes harm their insurance company is liable and if they don't have insurance they could be fined/arrested for possessing a gun withouth insurance (just as a car owner in many states).

    January 15, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. LGNY

    It feels like we keep moving the goal posts.

    The original standard was met.

    January 15, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. CaliforniaBC

    TALK ABOUT skeezy political maneuvering. This speaks so loudly to how the Republican Party dismisses public support, military advisors AND scientific findings when they do not support their ideology. The majority of the public, military personnel, military families and military commanders agree with the repeal but the Republicans will do everything they can to stop it because they let their religious beliefs intrude on how they legislate.

    January 15, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Gobama!

    What a jerk. They're going to serve, get over it.

    January 15, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. vic nashville tn

    2010 issue number one is Job for Americans

    Form 2008 February to today many Americans don’t have steady (permanent) job. There are no jobs. Real unemployment rate nearly 18%

    What we hearing Repeal this repeal that stop the nonsense
    Please focus on creating jobs

    January 15, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. sonny

    Congressman Hunter, from his personal perspective is probably sincere in his concern. I believe that less limited perspectives will prevail though because in the end it is the American people who determine our course of action even as it regards the military. And the American people have spoken. Repeal it properly and safely but definitely repeal DADT.

    January 15, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Larry Laguardia

    How in heaven is the repeal of DADT part of a "socialist agenda?" I thought it was what 70% of Americans felt to be the right thing to do.
    People like Hunter will stop at nothing in their attempt to make the USA a rightwing dictatorship.

    January 15, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. GABlueStarMom

    Ken in NC the President is the CIC! My guess since you did not know this is that you have not clue regarding the military. And what is the big deal about having the Chiefs sign off on it? They are the ones directly responsible for their branches.

    January 15, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. aric

    As someone who has been a long time opponent of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan I happen to agree that having the Political leaders decide if the military is ready for a new policy is a fools errand. It is a far better idea to have the Joint Chiefs make those decisions based on information gained from their subordinates.

    January 15, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Glenn Koons

    One wonders what the Military leaders think of DADT instead of the emotive liberal groups who think our military should be a social experiment? Oh well, it will fail and yet...if homosexuals want to serve, will be good soldiers killing the enemy and break things and will be celibate, let them serve. Still, is this the best for the military?? That is my concern with the rising tide of enemies the USA has.

    January 15, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. mc

    totoally out of touch with america, but yet they are so quick to claim the majority when it comes to marriage...idiot.

    January 15, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. willie floyd

    I think if those of us commenting here would call, write, or e-mail our men in congress, and encourage our friends and family to do likewise it might get the messages across to Reps. It's time to make new moves (jobs, economy), not go backward!!

    January 15, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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