House is now debating the Rule for the DADT standalone bill

In the House, before a bill is debated and voted upon, a rule setting the parameters of the debate must pass. The House is currently debating, H.Res. 1764, the Rule for the DADT standalone bill. One good thing about this rule is that there won’t be a motion to recommit. That’s a procedural tactic, which has been used to great effect by the House Republicans.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is leading the debate for our side. She’s an amazing ally — and my Congresswoman.

There’s an hour of debate, evenly divided on the rule. After the rule passes, which usually happens along a party line vote, the House will proceed to the actual bill, HR 2965.

The debate on the Rule will give the homophobes in Congress a chance to spew their venom.

You can watch the debate on CSPAN, CSPAN online and also online here at the House website.


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House votes today on standalone DADT bill. There are still ‘minefields’ in the Senate remains the hurdl

The House will vote on the standalone DADT bill today. It should pass, but House members still need to hear from us. The switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

After passage, the bill will be sent as a “message” to the Senate, thereby avoiding an initial filibuster. The Senate can immediately begin debate on the legislation, although when that debate actually starts is unclear. We will need 60 votes to end the debate.

So, while the action is in the House today, all eyes are on the Senate. There was a lot swirling around yesterday. The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson was on the Hill getting the latest:

Winnie Stachelberg, vice president for external affairs at the Center for American Progress, also said she believes there’s a chance the bill will pass before Congress is out of session.

“Having a chance is all that you need,” she said. “And you need the pieces to fall into place and the commitment of those on the Hill and the White House to get it done. People really need to lean into this to get it done.”

Good lord. Having a chance is all we need? Really, Winnie. Actually, we need 60 votes. Anytime I read a quote from Winnie Stachelberg, I worry. She’s been one of the masterminds behind the DADT repeal strategy all year. Now, she wants the White House “to lean into this.” Winnie is very close to the White House — and she went along with the original plan to push back a vote until after the Pentagon survey was completed. We needed the White House to lean in back in 2009 and early 2010. I still don’t understand why Winnie is so influential in this process, but we’ll discuss that — and the failings of other parties — in the weeks to come. Today, we’ve got to focus on the task at hand. Because while things look better, this is not a done deal at all.

On the GOP side, not everyone is so optimistic:

But a Senate Republican aide, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, was more cautious and said passage depends “on so many variables.”

“I think if the omnibus, the continuing resolution, all that stuff stretches past Thursday night, Friday, then it gets real difficult,” the aide said. “Those things are already set in motion. It could happen, but there’s just a lot of minefields.”

Yes, there are a lot of minefields. And, the mines are being laid by John McCain and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

Sam Stein encapsulated the Senate battle ahead:

In the Senate, there are currently myriad scenarios under which a standalone repeal could either pass or fail. But several sources — both Republican and Democrat, on the Hill and off — conveyed the sense that the bill’s fate rests on two main questions: Whether McCain, who has spearheaded the opposition to repeal, will be able to delay or torpedo the measure through amendments, and whether Obama will dive into the trenches to help Senate Democratic leadership corral the votes for passage.

We know that McCain is willing to use all the tricks at his disposal. We still don’t know that Obama will dive into the trenches. He hasn’t yet.


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DADT Repeal Stand-Alone Bill Introduced in the House

Today House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Patrick Murphy introduced a free-standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the companion bill, S.4023, last week after the failed Senate vote to proceed to debate on the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate bill currently has 40 bipartisan cosponsors.

Today’s announcement by Leader Hoyer and Rep. Murphy shows that momentum is on the side of DADT repeal. 

HRC praises the leadership of Leader Hoyer and Rep. Murphy, who have been champions of repeal.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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House Says Hello To Standalone DADT Repeal Bill

Rep. Patrick Murphy today introduces a standalone Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal bill in the House, which Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says he will immediately bring up for a vote to coincide with the Senate's version of the bill, since the Senate was unable to match the House's repeal-inclusive NDAA bill.

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Momentum Grows for Stand-Alone DADT Repeal Bill; Now 40 Co-Sponsors

The effort to pass “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation as a stand-alone measure is gaining momentum with 40 bipartisan cosponsors already.  Last week after the Senate failed to take up the Defense Authorization Bill to which DADT repeal language is attached, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led a group of Senators in proposing an alternative legislative strategy that would pass repeal language apart from the defense bill.  The new measure is S.4023.

The following is a list of cosponsors as of December 13:

  • Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-HI)
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, (D-CO)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-CA)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D-OH)
  • Sen. Maria Cantwell, (D-WA)
  • Sen. Benjamin Cardin, (D-MD)
  • Sen. Robert Casey, (D-PA)
  • Sen. Susan Collins, (R-ME)
  • Sen. Chris Coons, (D-DE)
  • Sen. Chris Dodd, (D-CT)
  • Sen. Richard Durbin, (D-IL)
  • Sen. Russ Feingold, (D-WI)
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA)
  • Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY)
  • Sen. Kay Hagan, (D-NC)
  • Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-IA)
  • Sen. John Kerry, (D-MA)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN)
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-LA)
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg, (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT)
  • Sen. Carl Levin, (D-MI)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, (I-CT)
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln, (D-AR)
  • Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley, (D-OR)
  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD)
  • Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA)
  • Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT)
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY)
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, (D-NH)
  • Sen. Arlen Specter, (D-PA)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, (D-MI)
  • Sen. Mark Udall, (D-CO)
  • Sen. Tom Udall, (D-NM)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR)

“The already large and growing number of my colleagues who are quickly signing on to this bill shows the high level of continuing commitment to repealing DADT before Congress goes home this year,” said Senator Lieberman.

“Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Sen. Collins.  “After hearing powerful testimony from Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, and reviewing the results of the Pentagon report, I remain convinced that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,’ implemented under President Clinton, should be repealed.  And, I agree with Secretary Gates that the issue should be decided by Congress, not the courts.”

“The strong list of initial co-sponsors adds momentum to getting legislative repeal of DADT done this year,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Now the question is whether the Senate and House will take up this measure quickly and get it to the President’s desk.  There should be no excuses for inaction. The one true measure of success is allowing patriotic men and women the opportunity to lend their talents in service to their country.  We’ll soon find out if promises made will be promises kept.”

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Sen Kirsten Gillibrand introduces the standalone bill to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

About an hour ago, as Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wrapped up his heroic 8-hour speech about the GOP-Obama tax proposal, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S. 4022, “A bill to provide for the repeal of the Department of Defense policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.”  

The bill’s sponsor is Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), with co-sponsors Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Udall (D-CO).  Official text and other bill information is here.  

Although the bill is thought to have enough support to pass, there are two major hurdles to success.  First, it is uncertain whether enough cloture votes can be found to override a filibuster challenge.  Second, there is little time to act on this bill before the Congress adjourns for the year.  Although Sen. Reid has promised to expedite the bill by using “Rule 14” to prevent it from dying in committee, he has also vowed to adjourn the Senate for the year on Friday, December 17th.  The Senate is now in recess until Monday.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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