DADT Cloture Vote May Come Up This Evening
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.
December 8th, 2010
Is this the end game for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s” repeal? Alex Nicholson at Servicemembers United smells more empty political posturing which, if true, could end up dooming DADT for at least the next two years:
If Senator Reid has received confirmation that Republican supporters of repeal are satisfied with the tax cuts deal, then the issue becomes the number of amendments and amount of floor time that Senator Reid is offering on the bill. As of this morning, it is our understanding that he is still lowballing his offer and presumably hoping that we will just blame ‘the Republicans.’ If he does not move his offer into the realm of reasonableness, then he will be intentionally throwing the vote when he brings it up.
Senate Republicans have already announced that they will block all bills in the Senate until the tax deal is worked out. Clearly that’s not the case yet, as many House and Senate Democrats are in open rebellion over the compromise reached by President Obama. Only two GOP votes are needed to break the Republican logjam, and Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are seen as two possibilities for achieving cloture for the Defense Authorization Bill which contains the measure repealing DADT. But as I see it, that’s a very shaking foundation for going forward. On every single vote — whether its health care reform or DADT repeal — in which Snowe and Collins were seen as potential bipartisan supporters, they have reliably refused to break ranks with the GOP every time. I would be dumbstruck if past behavior didn’t portend future behavior. And so the political theater continues.
Update: A spokesman for Susan Collins provides another soliloquy in this political theater:
Senator Collins has maintained that the Senate should be focused on taxes and the economy (especially since the tax provisions expire on January 1) and obviously we need to pass a bill funding the government before Friday.These are top priorities and there is limited time.
However, she believes there is time to consider other issues as well, and she has made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor, for example, and allows sufficient debate and amendments, she would vote to proceed to the bill.
You see, that’s how you say yes while actually saying no. And since Reid knows full well Collins’s position and is lowballing his offer anyway, he, too, is saying yes while actually saying no. They both just hope we’re too dumb to notice.
Update 2: Sen. Joseph Lieberman pushes back on the naysayers:
“Senator Collins has been working in good faith to achieve an agreement on the process to move forward with the defense bill that contains the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I categorically reject reports by uninformed staffers who have suggested otherwise. As she always does, Senator Collins is working diligently and across party lines to find solutions to the challenges that confront our country. I call on those responsible for such baseless allegations to stop immediately and instead work to get to an agreement to bring this critical bill to the floor for Senate action.
“We are making progress toward an agreement to move forward on the defense bill that includes the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and I remain confident that we can reach an agreement, which is necessary before any vote on the motion to reconsider is taken. I am working closely with Senator Reid and Senator Collins and other members who want to reach a fair and reasonable agreement to move the defense authorization bill that that is so essential to the needs of our troops, veterans, and their families.
“It is now more clear than ever that we have 60 or more votes in support of repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ so it is vitally important to reach agreement on the right process to move forward.”
It’s that last part, “the right process to move forward,” which is the lynch pin.