UPDATED: New strategy evolving to pass DADT repeal. House will vote on Wednesday, 12/15.

UPDATE @ 4:45 PM, confirmation of a vote tomorrow via a tweet from the Speaker:

The House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s standalone #DADT repeal bill tomorrow-Senate action on #DADT is long overdue.

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As noted below, there are lots of activity on the effort to repeal DADT before Congress goes home. The House could take action on the standalone bill today. That’s the first step in this new strategy.

Here’s an update from Kerry Eleveld:

House majority leader Steny Hoyer released a statement late Tuesday morning saying that he and Rep. Patrick Murphy, chief sponsor of the original repeal measure, would introduce a stand-alone repeal bill soon – though many Hill staffers expected it could happen as early as Tuesday afternoon.

“I look forward to bringing this bill to the House floor soon, and I hope the Senate will swiftly take action as well so that the bill can be signed into law as soon as possible,” Hoyer said.

Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Mark Udall rushed to introduce stand-alone repeal legislation last week immediately following a failed Senate vote on the defense authorization bill.

Democratic aides say passing the bill in the House and sending it straight over to the Senate as “privileged” legislation would circumvent a number of procedural hurdles and allow the bill to be decided by one up-or-down vote that would require 60 votes for passage.

“The ideal situation is the House passes a stand-alone bill first and sends it over to Senate,” said one Senate aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

But a House Democratic aide said House Democrats still hadn’t settled on a final strategy for a stand-alone bill.

“The leadership has not made a decision as to going first with the stand-alone before the senate,” said the House aide, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

House Democrats were scheduled to hold a leadership meeting later today, so more details will likely flow from that meeting.

The timing of such a bill is also entirely up in the air in the Senate.

This is critical, because the House sends a “message,” our Senate allies can circumvent the filibuster on the motion to proceed. We won’t need 60 votes to get onto the bill, so there are no negotiations about amendments or time for debate. We still need 60 votes to end debate. If that happens, we’ll have 30 hours of actual debate (unless Republicans yield back cloture time), then there will be a vote to pass the standalone bill. Of course, the GOPers can still engage in a lot of procedural tricks and gimmicks along the way. But, this is moving in the right direction.

We definitely need to hold Susan Collins, Scott Brown, Murkowski, Lugar and company to their word — and not to succumb to pressure from Mitch McConnell. If the 57 Democrats who support us all show up this time, we’ll need three GOPers to hit 60. Collins will need to bring two Republicans with her.

To be clear, this is not a done deal. There are still pitfalls. And, it would be especially helpful if the Commander-in-Chief and his Secretary of Defense weighed in.

Stay tuned. Things are happening fast….


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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