Today, SLDN sent an action alert to its supporters urging calls to Senators to ask for a vote on the Defense Authorization in September. The action alert is here. SLDN’s press release lays out the case for a vote in September. If that vote doesn’t take place, we’re facing the prospect that even the compromise DADT bill won’t pass this year — and that could mean repeal won’t happen for years:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), issued a national action alert today urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to schedule a floor vote on repeal the week of September 20. The alert also targets Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has been a vocal opponent of repeal. TWEET this action alert now: http://bit.ly/cJqRT2
“We cannot let the defense budget bill slide any longer. Repeal supporters need to call Senate leadership today and ask they move the defense bill to the Senate floor the week of September 20th,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “Sen. John McCain has been a strong and vocal opponent from the start and it is critical that we beat back any filibuster threat, defeat attempts to strike repeal, and defeat any crippling amendments. The focus will also continue on Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell; we need this bill up on the Senate floor the week of September 20th.”
WHY WE NEED TO PASS DADT REPEAL IN SEPTEMBER:
· If the defense budget bill doesn’t move in September and slides into the lame duck session, many Republicans have made it clear they will only agree to a Continuing Resolution to keep funding the Defense Dept.
· If a Continuing Resolution is passed, the hard earned House passage of repeal dies. Recall, repeal advocates made it to the House floor vote bypassing the House Armed Services Committee as we didn’t have the support of the Democratic Chairman, Ike Skelton.
· If the defense budget bill doesn’t move to the Senate floor by the end of September, DADT repeal may not happen for SEVERAL MORE YEARS.
· How will repeal die if there is no vote in September? If Republicans take back the House in November, as many are beginning to predict, SLDN doesn’t see Speaker Boehner pushing a vote on DADT next year.
SLDN knows what is going on. OVer the past couple days, Aubrey Sarvis has raised the level of concern. Over the past two days, we’ve posted on recent DADT developments here, here and here. This is a really serious situation. Call your Senators. The main number is 202-224-3121. They’re still in recess this week, so calls to the in-state offices help, too.
This is the closest we’ve been to repeal ever. And, even the compromise language isn’t a done deal. It really is on the line.
The only thing that can possibly change the current course is pressure — and lots of it.