DADT repeal included in defense bill today

Timothy Kincaid

September 21st, 2010

Sen. Harry ReidToday Senator Reid will bring up the 2011 Defense Appropriations Bill for cloture – the process to bring the bill to a vote. Although the bill itself only requires 50 votes, cloture (ending discussion) requires 60 votes.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few stumbling blocks in the bill which may result in Republicans unanimously voting against cloture. As Jim reported, Reid is denying the ability of Republicans to offer amendments to the bill, even those which would likely have broad bipartisan support, while reserving for himself the right to introduce some of his own. Here are a few of the problems with the bill:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – although this is the highest profile provision, it may not be the most controversial. A few conservative Senators have railed on about this, but I strongly doubt that this alone would have been adequate to hold up the defense bill. However, this will likely be the only provision that gets the blame.

Abortion – the bill would change the rules to allow for abortions to be performed in government hospitals.

Dream Act – this is a provision that would provide citizenship to some immigrants in the country illegally. In addition to it having only tangential relationship to Defense (the listed criteria includes Military service, a provision already available), it is controversial and not broadly supported.

Wasteful Spending
– the White House has indicated that it is concerned about provisions of the bill that it sees as pork and has threatened a veto. They are unlikely to be alone in wishing to question some expenditures that may be focused less on defense than on providing federal money to “the folks back home.”

Unless Harry Reid allows Republicans to at least plead their case on these and other issues, there is a high likelihood that moderate Republicans will refuse support.


September 21st, 2010

And Obama’s new choice to lead Marine Corps just testified against DADT repeal.

If Democrats can’t even pass DADT, they’re sure as hell going to lose the gay vote. People will stay at home next cycle.

Though I fail to see how the Dream Act is controversial. It lets outstanding students and those who enlist to get on a pathway to citizenship instead of squandering their talent simply because their family entered the country illegally and brought them with them.

Just because they broke a law does not justify the punishment. People who get cited for DUI are even more dangerous and yet we don’t see any promising students and recruits being exiled, denying the country their potential contributions in the process.


September 21st, 2010

Lucrece, I just want to thank you for that commentary about the DREAM act. I understand this is more of a GLBT themed site, but I found that the way that this was addressed in this article a bit demeaning to the activists (many of whom are queer) who are pushing for the DREAM act. I don’t think it’s as opposed as you suggest, many americans are in support of it, as it is a very clearly defined path to citizenship.

I would also put wasteful spending as the worst part about this bill. It is a sad day for human rights, but hopefully a better day for spending, though I strongly doubt that.

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