This afternoon, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) refused to overtly endorse a fringe Republican effort to rescind the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, telling the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson that he would wait to see what the House Armed Services Committee recommended before pushing for a vote on repeal:
JOHNSON: A question on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Earlier this year, Rep. Duncan Hunter introduced legislation that would expand the certification requirement for the Pentagon to implement repeal. Will that see a vote in the 112th Congress?
BOEHNER: Ah, we’ll see what the committee recommends.
The Defense Department is moving to accelerate the process for certifying the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA) has introduced legislation to slow down the process. His bill, which has 23 co-sponsors, would add the four military service chiefs “to the list of those who must sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially scrapped.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the new Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel, has also promised to “hold hearings to look at the Pentagon’s plans to allow openly gay people to serve” and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) said he would call battlefield commanders to testify “about whether lifting the ban will hurt morale and readiness.”
Meanwhile, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last month estimated that it has cost the Department of Defense “about $193.3 million ($52,800 per separation) in constant fiscal year 2009 dollars to separate and replace the 3,664 servicemembers” under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy between 2004 and 2009.