While the new bill will still have to work its way through the normal legislative process, two supporting actions will be needed to ensure passage of the bill in 2010. First, President Obama can and should include explicit repeal language in one of the Defense Department’s legislative proposal packages that will be transmitted to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees over the next two months. This would be the single most critical action the President can still take to ensure repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in 2010.
Second, Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, should ensure that full repeal language is included in the original draft of the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act that is crafted within his committee. These two actions together can ensure that the necessary support is in place to secure the needed votes for repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in 2010.