Majority Leader Harry Reid is moving the Defense bill with DADT language

This afternoon, I went to the Capitol to hear the Majority Leader and Minority Leader address the media about what’s ahead in the Senate over the next couple weeks. Reid made it clear that he is moving ahead on the Defense bill, which includes the DADT language. He said DADT is a critical piece of that legislation. He expects the GOP to try to block the bill — and he even told McConnell that the GOPers could have a separate vote to try to take the DADT language out of the Defense bill. Reid also said he wanted to add the DREAM Act to the Defense bill.

Reid also said:

I think we should choose common sense over discrimination. We’re going to match our policies with our principles and finally say that iin our country, everyone who steps up to serve our country should be welcome.

Here’s Reid:

Reid will file a cloture motion this week, setting a up vote to end the McCain-led filibuster. Reid was asked by by Kerry Eleveld if he has the votes to proceed on Defense bill. He answered,”we’ll sure find out.”

During his remarks, McConnell kept saying that the Defense authorization bill was “controversial.” McConnell did say that DADT is one reason that the Defense Authorization is “controversial” in response to a question from the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson.

So, game on. A vote is coming. Call your Senators: 202-224-3121. You know the homophobes are in overdrive.


—  John Wright

Washington Blade: Senate will vote on Defense bill with DADT language

Breaking news this afternoon, courtesy of Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

The Washington Blade has learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to schedule a vote next week on major defense budget legislation that contains “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language, regardless of any objection from members of the U.S. Senate.

A senior Democratic leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Reid met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday to inform the Republican leader that the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill will come to the Senate floor the week of Sept. 20.

The aide said Senate leadership is anticipating the Senate won’t have unanimous consent to bring the legislation to the floor, so 60 votes will be necessary to end a filibuster and move forward with debate on the bill.

“We are going to take it the floor next week to see where the votes are,” the aide said.

So, we’re getting a vote and we need 60 votes.


—  John Wright