Senate Dems Lose Vote on 'Don't Ask' Repeal

More

Senate Democrats today failed on a 57-40 vote to overcome a Republican filibuster of the 2011 defense authorization bill that includes a provision repealing the 1993 exclusion of openly homosexual men and women from military service.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., abruptly called for the floor vote to invoke cloture and allow the Senate to debate and vote on the defense authorization bill, acknowledging that negotiations with Republicans to get to the 60-vote threshold had fallen apart.

"We've tried every possible way to move forward on this," Reid said, adding that he has "bent over backwards to get the bill done."

Except for Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, all other Republican moderates, whom Reid had hoped to win over to allow the defense bill to advance on the floor, voted with the rest of the GOP caucus to block the measure.

Collins, who had been wrangling with Reid over the parameters for debate on the defense bill, called Reid's decision to call a vote "unfortunate." Even though she ultimately voted with the Democrats, she and other Republicans also had insisted on completing work on the pending tax package before voting to proceed with the defense bill.

"I just do not understand why we can't proceed along a path that would bring us to success and that will allow us to get the 60 votes to proceed," Collins said. "I thought we were extremely close to getting a reasonable agreement yesterday."



Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Scully & Dan Friedman

Megan Scully is a staff writer (defense and national security) and Dan Friedman is a staff writer (Senate leadership) for National Journal.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In