Both Lieberman/Levin say filibuster is biggest hurdle to NDAA. Lieberman: “I don’t think the votes are there.” #dadt
If the votes aren’t there, it means all the GOPers are going to vote to keep filibustering the Defense Authorization legislation next week.
In the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 27th, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Scott Brown (R-MA) voted for the Defense Authorization bill. The Armed Services Committee press release, with the roll call vote, is here. (It’s a pdf.) But, here’s the roll call on final passage in Committee: Collins voted for the DADT amendment in the Senate Armed Services Committee. And, Brown has said publicly that he will not filibuster the Defense Authorization bill over DADT.
Are Collins, Brown and the Republicans really going to put politics over support for the troops? The Defense Authorization bill is all about taking care of our troops, including pay raises and support. No matter how the Senate Republicans spin this, their filibuster is really based on homophobia and discrimination. That’s what Collins and Brown — and Snowe, Lugar, Voinovich — will be embracing. They need to stop playing procedural games with people’s lives.
We’ll see if Collins and Brown surrender the soldiers and their constituents to Mitch McConnell. That’s what they usually do.
Call your Senators, especially if you live in Maine or Massachusetts. The Senate switchboard is 202-224-3121.
And, check out this call to Brown’s office, courtesy of Lady Gaga. Brown’s staffer told the caller that he opposes DADT:
Steve Vernon at MoneyWatch.com took a look at retirement planning for gay and lesbian couples and provides some financial advice. And, it also provide an example of how same-sex couples aren’t equal:
Unfortunately, Social Security does not recognize gay marriage (see footnote 1), as was verified by a phone representative at Social Security who talked with my research associate. With a gay couple, the Social Security income that your household receives is the sum of each of your Social Security benefits, based on your own earnings record. When one of you dies, that person’s Social Security income stops. This is different from married straight couples, for whom survivors’ benefits are paid to the spouse.
Here’s that footnote 1:
Under Federal law an individual whose claim for benefits is based on a State recognized same-sex marriage or having the same status as spouse for State inheritance purposes cannot meet the statutory gender-based definition of widow or widower of the worker, including one who is divorced. Therefore, for all benefit purposes, the Social Security Administration does not recognize such individual as the widow or widower of the deceased worker.
That’s thanks to Section 3 of DOMA.
Remember, a federal court judge found section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. The decision has been stayed pending appeal. We’ll know by October 18 if the Obama administration intends to appeal the decision. It’s widely expected that they will. Until DOMA is overturned by the courts or Congress repeals it, we’re not equal.