During a press conference yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) attracted attention when a reporter asked him whether the Senate will be pushing for a bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT):
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaking at a press conference Monday said he has no plans to introduce a bill to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the Senate.
“I haven’t identified any sponsors,” he said. “My hope is that it can be done administratively.“
The Obama administration has repeatedly resisted calls to suspend DADT by executive order. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs last month said that President Obama is looking for a “durable legislative solution,” and Obama himself has written that repeal of the policy “needs Congressional action.”
Today in a statement to ThinkProgress, Reid’s office clarified the senator’s remarks, saying that what he is looking for is a “legislative proposal” from the White House. Additionally, while the Senate does not currently have a bill introduced, “a number” of senators are working on one:
While we do not have a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell bill introduced in the Senate yet, a number of Senators are working on an approach to get it repealed. We would welcome a legislative proposal from the White House on repeal so as to provide clear guidance on what the President would like to see and when. Working together, I believe we can find the time to get repeal done in this Congress.
One of the major obstacles to introducing a bill in the Senate has been finding a willing Republican co-sponsor. The House already has a bill to repeal DADT. “If the House moves on this,” said Reid, “I would be happy to take it up.”