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Sen. Collins: “I Cannot Vote to Proceed”

Jim Burroway

September 21st, 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s insistence on refusing to allow votes on amendments to the Defense Authorization Bill is having the feared effect of driving previous Republican supporters of the bill from voting for cloture. This is Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on the Senate floor:

They deserve to have a civil, fair and open debate on the Senate floor, and that is why I am so disappointed that rather than allowing full and open debate and the opportunity for amendments from both sides of the aisle, the majority leader apparently intends to shut down the debate and exclude Republicans from offering a number of amendments

…Now, Mr. President, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. I support the provisions in this bill. I debated for them. I was the sole Republican in the committee that voted for the Lieberman-Levin language on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I think it’s the right thing to do. I think it’s only fair, I think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country. But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down the debate and preclude Republican amendments.”

According to reports, Reid once had her vote, but he lost it when he made the decision to refuse to allow votes on Republican amendments. Others on the fence were George Lemieux (R-FL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME);, Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Jim Webb (D-VA), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Kit Bond (R-MO). It is unclear what effect Collins’ decision will have on the others.

The White House has issued a public statement supporting the Defense Authorization bill, but the Washington Blade quotes Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Trevor Thomas: “We have not seen any signs that the White House has been whipping this vote in the last 48 hours.”

Comments

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Tom in Lazybrook
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

You know, the bill doesn’t die if cloture isnt reached. It dies if Reid withdraws the bill.

Chris McCoy
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Tom in Lazybrook wrote:

You know, the bill doesn’t die if cloture isnt reached.

The 2010 Legislative session ends today. Any bill that is not voted on today will not be passed untill next year, when the makeup of both Houses will be significantly different, and Mr Reid will most likely not be Senate Majority Leader.

So yes, if they do not reach cloture today, it is effectively dead.

Jack
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

So, let’s cue up yet another pro-Republican talking point:

DADT repeal failed because Harry Reid is a hyperpartisan, power-drunk tyrant who wouldn’t let the oh-so-meek and selfless Republicans add a bunch of meaningless amendments to a bill.

Boo hoo. It’s all the Democrats’ fault. They should all just go back to Kenya.

Jack
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

P.S. Mark Pryor has been “on the fence” on LGBT issues since at least 1996, when he “unexpectedly” missed the Senate vote that would have enacted ENDA.

He’s been on the fence so long that by now his you-know-whats have been totally destroyed.

EZam
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

I don’t care about anything Republicans or Democrats do as long as they don’t tamper our rights.

So yeah, it IS Reid’s fault.

Mark F.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Let the Senate vote on Republican amendments, Senator Reid, or you will get nothing. It’s called “compromise.”

Thomas
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Don’t worry the Repubs love the gays. Things will be much better under the GOP for us, the world, the environment. It’s alll the Democrats fault… Don’t you see the rewriting of history (certainly on THIS site). Oh and Melhman is our friend, too.

toujoursdan
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

How does a Democratic White House whip Republican votes to end a filibuster?

Lucrece
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

And cloture has failed.

Mark F.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Cloture just failed 56-43

MJC
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Who abstained? That’s a total of 99

Patrick Garies
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

@MJC: The nonvoter was Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Scott P.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Seems everyone’s ass is covered now.

I don’t think I can get enough energy up now to vote.

Tom in Lazybrook
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

I think I’m gonna be just as much of a fierce advocate of the Dems as they are for me. No ENDA, no DADT repeal, no support from me. Its about results.

Stewart P.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Tom in Lazybrook:

That sounds okay until you consider the repercussions. Stay home on election day and let the Republicans take over? I don’t think so.

Not only is that a bad idea for gays. That’s a bad idea for the environment, education, racial minorities, undocumented workers, workplace safety, etc.

Scott P.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Better an honest enemy than a dishonest friend.

Mark
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

I love the sentiment that says f- the Dems because they didn’t pass this bill. The Republicans are the ones who stopped it.

You realize that there are plenty of other Democratic priorities that weren’t accomplished, right? There are 50 million people in this country without health insurance and they have to wait until 2014 to buy crappy, overpriced health insurance.

DADT is grossly unfair, but it affects 48,000 people, and it will most likely be gone well before 2014 – unless the Republicans block it again.

So get some perspective. If this is enough to make you want a Republican congress, then you were probably going to start voting Republican as soon as the Democrats got you gay marriage.

And guys – stop appropriating issues like DADT and marriage that mostly affect lesbians as though you’re the one suffering the hurt.

customartist
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

“an honest enemy”…..Really now?

You’re referring to Republicans??

This is all a game. They all did what they had to do to retain their seats. I will campaign for and against those who voted for and against this Bill – that’s it.

Senators can now go back tot heir respective states and campaign that This Piece or That Piece of the Bill is why they voted for or against the Bill, as they think will get them re-elected.

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