The Army rebuffed Congressional efforts to impose a moratorium on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discharges today, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that it would oppose oppose the freeze while the Pentagon reviewed the DADT policy.
Asked about the moratorium by Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) during today’s appropriations hearing, Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey argued that a moratorium could complicate the Pentagon’s study:
I would recommend against it, it would complicate the whole process … implementing while we were studying it…This process is going to be difficult enough, anything that complicates it more I would be opposed to.
John M. McHugh, secretary of the Army, agreed. “Any number of current cases would be greatly complicated.” McHugh said his preference would be not to institute a moratorium, but promised to respect and adhere to a moratorium if it were to pass Congress.
Earlier this month, Levin said that he would support imposing a moratorium and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, predicted that Congress had enough votes to pass a limited moratorium on third-party discharges.
Congress could certainly pass a moratorium over the Army’s objections, but the best way for Congress to counteract the military’s feet-dragging is to include repeal language in the Defense Authorization bill. The President could also declare a “stop-loss” (the policy could not be enforced because nobody can leave the military) or institute a high threshold for enforcing the policy.
Towleroad has more.