Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, has said that Congress should institute a moratorium on third-party Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) discharges until Congress formally repeals the policy. Davis estimated that outings by a third party make up for 30-40 percent of all DADT discharges and said she hoped to attach the moratorium to the upcoming defense authorization bill. “That would be the really first act of Congress to just put a hold on any discharges,” she said during a radio interview on KPBS San Diego public radio:
I think what’s being suggested here is a kind of limited moratorium. I don’t know whether the language that comes forward would be a total moratorium. I suspect that it might be easier to get this limited moratorium through with more support.
During the Davis’ interview, Abe Shragge, professor of history, war and American society at UCSD, compared conservative arguments against repealing DADT to the case put forward by proponents of racial segregation of the military.
“That same argument was offered in the late 1940s, before President Truman integrated the services racially, that this would affect recruitment, it would reflect badly on the readiness of the service. That well qualified people who’d be very uncomfortable if forced to serve with or next to or in close proximity to African Americans would simply have to leave. That didn’t’ happen then. And I would not expect it to happen in any great numbers now.”
Last week, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) also suggested that Congress would pass a moratorium and on Saturday Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) promised to add an amend to the budget that would deny “funding to the military for the costs of pursuing inquiries, dismissal proceedings and other procedures associated with enforcing” DADT.