COLLINS STILL MAKING ZERO SENSE ON DADT – Susan Collins, who supports repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is continuing to concoct reasons to vote against it. The Wall Street Journal, new home of Patrick O’Conner, reported that she would oppose cloture if she didn’t get some debate or amendments or some such. Not so, her office tells Jason Linkins: “Senator Collins has not said she would oppose cloture if time is not allowed for debate. In fact, she has said she supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and she intends to support cloture on the Defense Authorization bill if the Majority Leader allows for a full and fair debate.” Um, that’s the same thing.
The House passed a measure to repeal the policy this spring, but Senate Republicans in September blocked a defense spending bill that included a repeal.
It’s unclear if any of that will change after today’s announcement. Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine who says she wants the ban repealed, still plans to vote against the repeal if there is not more time for debate, her spokesman said Monday.
Senate Republicans intend to block action on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation unrelated to tax cuts and government spending in the current postelection session of Congress, officials said Tuesday, adding that the leadership has quietly collected signatures on a letter pledging to carry out the strategy.
If carried out, it would doom Democratic-backed attempts to end the Pentagon’s practice of discharging openly gay members of the military service and give legal status to young illegal immigrants who join the military or attend college.
Orders have come down from Mitch McConnell. Has Susan Collins signed the letter? We need to know.
On DADT, Collins is key. She voted for the DADT language in the Senate Armed Services Committe last May. She’s considered something of a pro-LGBT champion, on paper anyway. HRC’s PAC has contributed ,000 to Collins. Given that record, if Collins won’t vote to end the filibuster, we can’t expect any other GOPers to do it.
In September, Collins chose the bogus argument of process over equality and voted with her GOP colleagues to filibuster the Defense Authorization bill. She basically said that not getting her way on amendments was the same as getting kicked out of the military for being gay. Ridiculous. But, the GOP leader told her how to vote and she did.
Now, we’re faced with the same question of whether Collins votes for equality or caves to Mitch McConnell. He’s the puppet-master. And, let’s face it, Collins rarely stands on principle. She usually does what McConnell wants. She’ll hide behind the bogus excuse that the process isn’t fair. But, notice, she won’t define for anyone what a “fair debate” is.
Collins knows this is the last shot for legislative repeal to move forward. She knows her newly empowered GOP colleagues won’t move repeal in the next Congress. If Collins votes to block movement on the Defense bill, the failure to pass the DADT language rests on her shoulders, too.
Back when Iowa's Governor-elect Terry Branstad was campaigning, he told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he supported civil unions for gays — a remark that came only after he denounced same-sex marriage as what caused the ruin of "ancient societies," and argued only children raised by a father and a mother truly do well in life. And so, while saying he was fine "with people that want to live together and raise a child and things like that," he declared he did not want the state to hold a constitutional convention to overturn the State Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. Too bad: Conservatives are going to push him to do it.
Earlier today, Servicemember United’s Alex Nicholson delivered a very strong message to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which was sent via a post at The Hill. Based on what we learned this afternoon from Chris Johnson, it looks like Reid has stepped up. There will be a vote on the Defense Authorization bill, which includes the compromise DADT language.
The immediate hurdle is the filibuster promised by Senator John McCain. You may recall McCain’s temper tantrum on the Senate floor over DADT in July. He’s such a fraud.
In today’s post, Alex says the votes exist to overcome McCain’s filibuster:
Enough support for the bill currently exists to break a filibuster, so the attempts by Senator Reid’s office to blame Senator McCain for the delay falls flat. Senator McCain is the de facto leader of the those opposed repealing the DADT law, and he will surely try to impede progress on this bill. But the overwhelming majority of both Americans and U.S. senators oppose Senator McCain’s tactics, especially a filibuster, so there is simply no excuse for Senator Reid to delay a vote on NDAA any longer.
Delay happens now if the GOPers stick together to block the Defense bill.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) already voted for DADT in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Scott Brown (R-MA) has stated publicly that he will not filibuster the Defense Authorization bill over DADT. Also, both Collins and Brown voted to pass the Defense bill out of committee (The Armed Services Committee press release is here. For some reason, that committee’s releases are pdfs)
We’ll see if these Collins and Brown cave to Mitch McConnell, which is what they usually do.
Virginia Democrat Jim Webb was the only Senator to oppose the DADT language in that committee. I can’t imagine Webb will filibuster this Defense bill over DADT.