Reid Accused Of Causing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Vote To Fail In The Senate
Following the rejection yesterday by the Senate to open debate on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the legislation that prevents gay servicemembers from serving openly in the military, gay rights groups are planning to hold a rally near the US Capitol in protest. Scheduled to take place around noon (Friday), the protest will act to urder lawmakers to work through the winter holidays to get the policy repealed with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network stating that “The Senate and the president must remain in session and in Washington to find another path for repeal to get done in the lame-duck”.
And there is already one bipartisan group of senators trying to do just that. Planning to re-introduce the bill as a separate piece of legislation, there is the hope that this would get the debate opened before the session ends, however it is uncertain how successful pushing it through as a separate piece of legislation would be.
Failing by a vote of 57-40, the Senate were three votes short of what they needed to proceed, something that had been hoped had been accounted for by the fact that there were 58 Democrat members in the Senate and that Republicans Senator Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowski are for the repeal.
So why didn’t it happen? Well on the Democrat side it was down to Senator Blanche Lincoln who apparently missed the vote because she was at the dentist, and on the Republican side? Both Brown and Murkowski said no because of the good old “not the right time” excuse.
Resulting in criticism being directed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by gay rights groups for introducing the bill despite knowing the Republicans were seeking more time and discussions on taxes first, he fought back saying he had to as they had run out of time.