The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning gays
from serving openly in the military will probably not be
repealed this year, as seemed likely only hours ago,
now that the bill has failed to garner the 60
votes necessary to reach the Senate floor for debate. The House had
already paved the way for the repeal.
The vote failed 57-40.
Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska,
who voiced support for repeal but had procedural objections, ultimately
voted no, as did one Democrat. Susan Collins of Main was the only Republican to vote yes,
after down-to-the-wire negotiations that left procedural issues unresolved and the support of Brown and Murkowski unsecured when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called for the vote.
Repeal may not be entirely out of the question, however. Senator Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent, announced shortly after the vote that he and Collins will introduce a standalone repeal measure during the lame-duck session, with Reid as a co-sponsor. Greg Sargent at the Washington Post reports that proponents of repeal hope some moderate Republicans who voted no today will support this second measure if it's voted on after the tax cut deal is resolved. There is also speculation that the Democrat defector, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, will vote yes if he is the 60th vote in this next round.