Secretary of Defense Robert Gates publicly called on the Senate to pass legislation repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the lame duck session. But, the Pentagon has no plans to release the crucial Working Group report of the policy ahead of the December 1st deadline, Stars and Stripes is reporting, making it difficult for Congress to act on the motion before it adjourns later that month. From Stars and Stripes’ Kevin Baron:
The Pentagon says there are no plans for the crucial working group on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law to rush its findings to Defense Secretary Robert Gates before Dec. 1, a deadline set months ago, despite pleas by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates for Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” in its lame-duck session.
“I’m not aware that there’s been any effort to speed it up,” Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said Monday.
The Pentagon’s study is particularly significant since moderate Republicans and Democrats have pledged to listen to the troops before voting to repeal the policy and repeal advocates undoubtedly believe that moving up the release of the study would give Congress more time to consider it and increase the chances of success.
As it stands, “Reid has already left the NDAA out of his line up of three bills to be considered during the week of Nov. 15, meaning consideration of the legislation wouldn’t come up, if at all, until Senators return from the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov 29.” The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld reports that, “Reid has also set a target date of Dec. 10 to adjourn for the year, which would leave just two weeks to complete the Defense bill — a near impossibility since debate usually takes two weeks and reconciling the House and Senate versions of the bill often takes another two weeks.”