In effort to rebuild momentum for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in this lame duck session of Congress, three Senators — Joe Lieberman, Mark Udall, and Kirsten Gillibrand — have issued a statement calling on the Senate hold a vote on the measure. The senators warn that if the body fails to act, the issue could be left to the courts:
“The Senate should act immediately to debate and pass a defense authorization bill and repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ during the lame duck session. [...]
“The process established by the defense bill would also allow ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to be repealed in an orderly manner, and only after the President, Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have certified to Congress that repeal is ‘consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.’ If Congress does not act to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in an orderly manner that leaves control with our nation’s military leaders, a federal judge may do so unilaterally in a way that is disruptive to our troops and ongoing military efforts. It is important that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ be dealt with this year, and it appears that the only way that can happen is if it is on the defense bill.
With the Pentagon’s Working Group study on the policy due to come out on December 1, my colleagues Jeff Krehely and Crosby Burns have released this list of 10 lawmakers “who have said they are waiting to hear from the troops and military leaders before deciding on DADT repeal.” As they note, these senators “should be held to task once the report comes out.”