Will Stand-Alone DADT Repeal Make It?

The House tries separating the measure from the defense bill

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The House of Representatives passed a stand-alone bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell late on Wednesday. The measure will now go to the Senate, where, as NBC News puts it, "it's fate is uncertain." Democrats are trying the stand-alone repeal after the Senate failed to pass a defense spending bill that included repeal. The Clinton-era policy has had two major defeats this year: a federal judge ruled it to be unconstitutional and a formal Pentagon review called for repeal. However, a number of Republican Senators, especially John McCain, stridently oppose ending the policy. The Atlantic's Chris Good reports that the Senate could take this up "next Tuesday at the soonest." Will it pass? Is repeal finally in sight?

  • The Big Risk of Stand-Alone Bill  The Atlantic's Chris Good warns that Republicans could kill it with the kind of "poison pill" amendments they wouldn't dare attach to a defense spending bill. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "has the power to preclude amendments from being added. It's called 'filling the tree,' and Republicans do not like it when Reid does this."
  • Could Be Enough Votes in Senate  Time's Mark Thompson writes, "Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine declared Wednesday that she would vote for repeal, so long as the defense-policy bill passes first. She is the fourth GOP senator to back an end to the ban, theoretically meaning there are 61 votes for it--enough to prevent a filibuster by opponents."
[Reid] will have to hold firm against Republican efforts to filibuster or attach amendments to the legislation. Under this scenario, the Senate bill would have to be identical to the House version or else it would have to return to the House for another vote. Reid has pledged to keep the Senate in session as long as possible to bring repeal to the floor, but his office has not yet issued a possible time frame for floor consideration.
  • This Could Be Last Chance for Repeal, the Associated Press explains: "Failure to overturn the policy this year could relegate the issue to the back burner next year when Republicans, who are far less supportive of allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military, take over the House and gain strength in the Senate."
  • Could Give Obama Much-Needed Boost in Dem Base  "I wouldn't say that most liberals would forget the tax deal if this passes," The Guardian's Michael Tomasky writes. " But it would be a huge deal in terms of getting the famous professional left back in Obama's corner to some extent, maybe a big extent. And if it fails? Pressure will be major on Obama to do an executive order."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.