First, from Roll Call (sub. req.), McCain made it clear that he’ll filibuster the Defense Authorization bill:
Sen. John McCain vowed Wednesday to prevent Democrats from bringing the defense authorization bill to the floor next week.
The Arizona Republican, who is ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said Democrats were using the defense measure as a tool to push liberal agenda items in the runup to the midterm elections.
“So I intend to block it, unless they agree to remove these onerous provisions,” he said.
Yes, McCain is putting his homophobia and prejudice over the safety and well-being of our troops. Almost stunning, but the guy is such a fraud. The question is whether the rest of the Republican caucus, including Susan Collins and Scott Brown (who both voted for the Defense Authorization in Committee), stick with McCain and Mitch McConnell. If I were a betting man, I’d bet Collins and Brown cave. They’re weak.
But, even if we do get past the filibuster, see the Defense Authorization pass the Senate and make it through the House-Senate conference with the DADT language intact, there’s the prospect of a Presidential veto over other issues. Kerry Eleveld confirmed that today:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that he believed President Barack Obama still intended to veto the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes funding for a controversial fighter jet engine regardless of whether a “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal measure and the DREAM Act provision are attached to the bill.
The Advocate: The DREAM Act may be included, as you know, as part of the defense authorization bill, as well as DADT repeal, will the president — does he still plan on potentially vetoing that defense authorization bill if it includes money for the [alternate] engine?
Gibbs: I know of no position change on our veto threat.
The DREAM Act is important to the immigrant community because it would create a way for undocumented youth who come to America as children to gain permanent residency through either higher education or military service. The pro-LGBT group Immigration Equality has also urged support for the provision, saying it “would benefit countless LGBT youth by providing them with a path to citizenship in the United States.”
Following his initial answer to the question, Gibbs said he would double-check on the status of the veto threat but that the president had “spent an enormous amount of time” working with Defense secretary Robert Gates on the task of “reshaping the way the Pentagon spends money.”
So how much money are we talking? How much would it take for Obama to choose Gates over civil rights and equality. According to Kerry, it’s $500 million. Yeah. That’s it.