Over at Politico, Josh Gerstein reports:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has announced his support for legislation that would permit the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay service members, making him the second Republican to go on record in favor of conditional repeal language attached to a pending defense budget bill.
“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. … When a soldier answers the call to serve and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor,” Brown said after two days of Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on “don’t ask” and a Defense Department study of how repeal could be implemented.
Looks like Senate Majority Leader now has the votes to overcome a filibuster on DADT repeal. Now, he just needs to stop his foot-dragging on tax cuts so he can move forward on repeal. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said “she would vote with Democrats to end the military’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, “, but not “until a debate over tax cuts has been resolved“:
“Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill,” she said in a statement.
Harry, the ball’s in your court.