Friday, December 17, 2010

Sixty-One Votes for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal?

General consensus seems to be that we now have 61 votes for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal: 57 Democrats – all of them save for Manchin of West Virginia – and 4 Republicans – Collins and Snowe of Maine, Murkowski of Alaska, and Brown of Massachusetts.

(In case you’re wondering why the number of Democrats is 57 and not 56, Sen. Lincoln of Arkansas made it quite clear, when she attempted to amend the record to include her in the “yea” column after the second failed NDAA cloture vote, that she supports repeal.)

However, two of those Republicans – Murkowski and Snowe – have indicated that they will only support repeal if, in Murkowski’s case, the Omnibus bill is passed first, and if, in Snowe’s case, the NDAA is passed first.

Now, the Omnibus bill was pulled by Sen. Reid because it didn't have the votes, and instead they're going to work on a continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year.  This will probably placate Murkowski, but it's not a certainty.  And while Sen. Levin and Sen. McCain are working on a compromise for NDAA, who knows if Snowe requires the vote to actually take place first?

Therefore, let us not rest on our laurels: we need to do everything we can to make sure we have the votes we need to pass repeal when it comes up for a vote tomorrow.

Call Majority Leader Harry Reid and make sure he knows we expect him to ensure we have the votes for repeal before the vote - there is no excuse for what he did last time, filing for cloture before he knew we had 60 votes. There are a lot of people who have put in a lot of time and effort into DADT repeal, and we expect the same from him.

Call the moderate Republicans – even the ones who have yet to announce they support repeal – and tell them you want them to help repeal this discriminatory policy that is dangerous to our national security. They need to know that we are watching them and are expecting them to do the right thing.

There is no doubt that we are closer than ever before to being rid of this ridiculous law once and for all.  Make these phone calls now to ensure all of our hard work will not be in vain.

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.): 202-224-3542
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.): 202-224-3954
Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.): 202-224-4543
Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.): 202-224-6244
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.): 202-224-4814
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): 202-224-6665
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine): 202-224-5344
Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio): 202-224-3353

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