Without any sure vote count and with waning prospects for success, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would likely call for a vote tonight on the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the military.
Senate staffers told the Colorado Independent that they’re preparing for the vote but not optimistic that potential crossover Republicans on the issue, like Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, will buck their caucus leaders and vote for repeal. With the DADT amendment attached, the Defense Authorization bill would now also be landmark civil rights legislation. If it doesn’t pass this month, any action on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would likely be postponed for years.
GOP 2008 presidential candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain has led the charge against repeal, shifting time and again over the course of the last year his arguments against repeal and requirements for reconsideration.
Colorado’s Mark Udall has been an outspoken champion of repeal, citing the high price tag and vast waste of highly trained personnel resources the policy has cost the nation over the past decades and at a time when the nation has been engaged in wars on two continents.