Editor’s note: A version of this post was prematurely published yesterday afternoon. We apologize for the confusion.
At a pen-pad briefing this morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) will introduce a stand-alone DADT repeal bill that he will co-sponsor and bring to the House floor in short order. The legislation will be identical to the measure offered by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) after the Senate failed to proceed to the National Defense Authorization Act last week and will include the same repeal language contained in the NDAA, which passed the House in May.
While the exact process is still unclear, Politico’s Josh Gerstein reported yesterday that Democrats may be exploring different avenues for expediting the repeal process by moving the measure from one chamber to another. Other Democrats are suggesting that the House and Senate will still pass separate repeal bills. Last week, Washington Post’s Greg Sargent speculated on the following tactic:
Here’s yet another way DADT repeal could still happen: A Senate aide says one scenario being mulled would be to ask the House to pass repeal again and send the Senate a so-called “message” asking for a vote. That would circumvent various procedural hurdles. No idea if it will happen, but it’s a possibility.
However the Democrats decide to proceed, bringing up the measure in the House presents a real possibility for having a clear up or down vote on lifting the ban in the lame duck session. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sounded very optimistic about the bills’ chances in the lower chamber, saying “[a]n army of allies stands ready in the House to pass a standalone repeal of the discriminatory policy once the Senate acts.” In the Senate, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Scott Brown (R-MA) also hinted they could support a stand-alone measure.
Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell asked Hoyer about proposing a stand-alone repeal bill:
,Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) sends in this statement:
“We applaud House Speaker Pelosi, Reps. Hoyer and Murphy for their extraordinary leadership in the waning hours of the lame-duck session. Let’s be clear: we’ll still need 60 votes in the Senate. This ‘privileged’ House bill will need to pass the full House and then move to the Senate. While we avoid a cloture vote to proceed and save time on the Senate floor, we’ll still need 60 votes to complete the bill and send it directly to the President’s desk. Repeal supporters need to contact their House member to vote for repeal tomorrow. We also need to keep the pressure on the Senate and not relent. Time remains the enemy and Senators need to complete the bill before leaving for holiday vacation. Get on the phone and help hold the frontline,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
,While leadership has not yet decided how exactly to proceed, repeal advocates are suggesting that the House may vote on the measure as early as tomorrow and then send the bill to the Senate as a message that holds privileged status. Reid will be able to call up the measure without voting on a motion to proceed, saving some 30 hours of debate in the Senate. The Senate would have to pass the House measure unchanged, without additional amendments or else the bill would have to go back to the lower chamber. Republicans can still filibuster the measure, however, which would require 60 votes to overcome.