DADT repeal ‘at great risk’ if Senate doesn’t vote in September

Chris Johnson has an article that explains how imperative it is that the Senate hold a vote on the Defense Authorization bill, which includes the compromise DADT language, in September:

The consequence of not having a vote by the end of the first week of October, Nicholson said, is that all the gains made so far over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be “put at great risk.”

“Once the Senate goes into recess for election season, anything could happen,” Nicholson said. “So putting the [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] vote off until after October is simply gambling with this very important issue. I don’t see how we will be able to forgive the president or Sen. Reid if that happens, because between the two of them they have the power to make sure that risk is not taken.”

Nicholson explained one of the biggest dangers if the Senate doesn’t vote:

Nicholson also said a Republican takeover this fall could thwart any attempt for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year.

Unfortunately, a takeover of even one house of Congress by a leadership cadre that is hostile to repealing [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] could put the breaks on all of the progress we have made so far, and even begin to reverse a lot of that progress,” he said.

Of course, if the President got involved and said he wanted a vote, there would probably be a vote. But, somehow, none of this surprise me:

A lack of pressure from the White House is also seen as a concern for those seeking a Senate vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this September.

Nicholson said it’s unclear whether the White House will push to have a vote on the defense authorization bill when the Senate returns from August recess.

“If the president were pressuring Sen. Reid to move the defense bill in September, it would likely get done,” Nicholson said. “But the White House does not always want bills coming up on the same timeline that we do.”

Nicholson said Obama could eliminate the uncertainty over a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by “publicly call[ing] for Sen. Reid to bring up the defense authorization bill in September.”

But, have no fear:

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said in response to an inquiry on whether the president would push for a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in September that the president remains committed to the issue.

“The president has made clear that he wants [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] repealed and he continues to work with Congress to make sure this happens,” Inouye said.

Um, yeah. Heard that before.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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