Collins has said she supports repeal, but won't agree to vote for cloture on the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal if Harry Reid doesn't allow ample time for open debate and amendments on the bill.
In private discussions between Collins and Reid this morning, and between their staffs over the weekend, Collins has demanded that Reid allow what's known as "unlimited debate" on the bill in order for her to vote for repeal, the aide close to the talks says.
Reid has rejected this demand, the aide continues. The problem is that this could allow any Senator to hijack the proceedings by introducing a "non-germane amendment," thus holding the floor.
Drum is disheartened:
If this is really what's happening, it's a pretty sobering reminder of the power of the Republican right wing. Collins is sincerely in favor of repealing DADT, she's not up for reelection until 2014, and she represents a moderate state. But obviously something has scared the hell out of her. She knows unlimited debate isn't practical, and she knows that repealing DADT in the next session of Congress is all but impossible. So she's killing this for years.
Joe Sudbay has a list of Senators on the fence on DADT that you can call. Mark Pryor is now on board. There is a clear majority in the Senate on this, support from the Pentagon, overwhelming backing from the public ... and then the fucking filibuster.