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."
- 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."