"Reid To Bring Defense Bill To The Floor With DADT Repeal Amendment"
Moments ago, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), and the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), announced that White House officials and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the floor of the Senate during the lame duck session, with an amendment to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:
Key Senate leadership and Administration officials this evening met with representatives of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), and the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF). The officials told the groups that Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama are committed to moving forward on repeal by bringing the National Defense Authorization Act – the bill to which “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal is attached – to the floor in the lame duck session after the Thanksgiving recess. Further the Majority Leader and the President made clear their opposition to removing the DADT provision from the NDAA. Information on the exact timing and procedural conditions will be announced by the Majority Leader’s office.
The question, of course, is whether the Senate will have enough time to consider the measure in an open amendment process, something that typically requires two weeks of debate. Therefore, if Reid brings the measure to the floor on Monday, November 29th, the Senate could finish debate and vote on the bill by December 13th and then begin conferencing the measure with the aim of passing it before Christmas.
“Present at the meeting with representatives from HRC, SLDN and CAPAF were: Jim Messina, Deputy White House Chief of Staff; Phil Schiliro, White House Director of Legislative Affairs; Chris Kang, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; David Krone, Chief of Staff to Majority Leader Reid; and Serena Hoy, Senior Counsel to Majority Leader Reid,” the groups’ press release states.
Tomorrow, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Roland Burris (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Al Franken (D-MN) are also scheduled to hold a press conference urging the Senate to repeal the policy during the lame duck session.
I welcome Senator Reid’s announcement that he will bring up the National Defense Authorization Act after Thanksgiving. I will work hard to overcome the filibuster so that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed and the NDAA — which is critical to our national security and the well-being of our troops — is adopted. I have asked Senator Reid to make his motion to bring up the matter after my committee and the public have received the Defense Department’s report and following the hearings that I plan to hold on the matter, which should take place during the first days of December.
During the work period following the Thanksgiving holidays, I will bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor, including a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Our Defense Department supports repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces. We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so.