SKELTON: You won’t find any mention of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Mr. [Howard] McKeon and I have spoken about this; we agree to support Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates’ request for time to study this issue, and we do not support this issue being raised in this markup.
Skelton’s announcement is hardly surprising. The Congressman has repeatedly said that he supports the current policy and recently wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Gates inviting him to express his “thoughts on potential Congressional action.” Gates’ insistence that Congress shouldn’t act on DADT before the Pentagon completed its review of the policy drastically chilled any chance of repealing the measure this year.
All attention now turns to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is scheduled to begin marking up the defense bill next week. Unlike Skelton, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) has suggested that he would defy Gates’ request to delay legislative action and attach repeal legislation in committee, if he has 15 votes needed. That, however, remains unclear, particularly since the Washington Blade is now reporting that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) will “vote against an effort next week to overturn the law.”
During a conference call with LGBT activists on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she remained committed to repealing the ban, which “is likely to be proposed on the House floor as an amendment to the defense bill.”