Last night during an appearance on MSNBC, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) refused to say if she would vote for a National Defense Authorization Act that included a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but this afternoon, during an interview with KTV’s Matt Felling in Alaska, Murkowski said that she would “not vote against a bill that had that repeal in it.”
Felling appeared on CNN this afternoon to preview the interview:
FELLING: And then I pursued the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell vote because that’s something that she’s been very reluctant to talk about because she wanted to hear from the troops and kick the can down the road. And then today she said, listen there have been leaks out of this poll inside the Pentagon, saying the troops are fine with it being repealed and you know, we are a different sort of warfare there aren’t trenches there aren’t fox holes anymore, I would not vote against a bill that had that repeal in it. And that’s honestly the first time she came swinging on that topic too.
Earlier today at a press conference with 13 other Democratic Senators, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — the sponsor of DADT repeal in the Senate — predicted that the measure would garner more than 60 votes. “I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the Defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,’ Lieberman said, naming GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as ‘Yes’ votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”
Felling’s interview with Murkowski airs tonight on KTVA. Requests for comment from Murkowski’s office were not returned.
The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson is also reporting that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) “wants to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and intends to vote in favor of moving forward with defense budget legislation containing a provision that would end the law, according to the Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada.”
,Murkowski spokesperson Michael Brumas adds some nuance, saying that the Senator would vote for repeal “as long as it is supported by the troops and doesn’t hurt performance, morale, or recruitment and we allow for a transition that makes sense.”