Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today blasted Republicans for blocking an attempt to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
The bill, which Udall helped write, funds the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan but also would start the process of repealing DADT. It needed 60 votes to begin full debate but fell short 57-40.
“Today, my Republican colleagues filibustered a pay increase for our troops at a time when our country is losing jobs and military families across the country are struggling to get by. They blocked provisions that are critical to defending our nation and keeping our service members safe. In fact, this will be the first time in 49 years that defense authorization legislation has not passed into law – all because Republicans object to repealing an outdated policy that is harming our ability to retain and recruit qualified service members while we’re at war,” Udall said in a release.
“If my colleagues were serious about resolving our differences over this bill, they would have allowed us to begin debate. Instead, we’re gridlocked over politics at the expense of our troops and our national security. The American people –- and our service members –- want us to lead. Obstructing debate is not leadership.
“At a time when we’re fighting two wars, we need every skilled service member we have – airmen, mechanics, translators, and others. The Pentagon’s top leaders, the President, and a majority of the American people support repeal [of DADT]. We owed it to our troops to at least debate the issue.”