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Key official in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal confirmed as Homeland Security secretary

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — Democrats used their newly initiated lower threshold for defeating filibusters Monday to win Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nomination of former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh C. Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security.

Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

On a 57-37 vote, Democrats broke a GOP blockade against Johnson before the Senate minutes later confirmed him on a 78-16 vote. Until Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate’s filibuster threshold on presidential nominations, it would have taken 60 votes to clear Johnson for a final vote.

Johnson, the former Pentagon general counsel, was co-chair of the Pentagon working group in 2010 that drafted the Department of Defense report preparing for legislative the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the former ban on openly gay service members.

He had also been charged with implementing the legal framework for open service in the military, and issued the guidance in September 2011 allowing same-sex weddings to be conducted on military bases.

Johnson also delivered the keynote address at the Pentagon’s first ever pride event, held in June 2012.

In a statement, Obama praised the Senate for confirming Johnson, calling him “a critical member of my national security team.”

“And he helped to shape some of our most successful national security policies and strategies,” the president added.

Obama has in the past praised Johnson’s role in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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16 more reader comments:

  1. Great! That work was quite an accomplishment.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:11pm
  2. Fantastic!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:14pm
  3. Fantastic!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:14pm
  4. :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:30pm
  5. As long as they are serving our country it is alright some people don’t want they stuff out there for everybody to know.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 5:13pm
  6. And we NOT SUPPORT CLOSET get rich BIGOTS!

    Replied on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:22pm
  7. If it not bother you ; you not believe in equality!

    Replied on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:23pm
  8. Take your bigotry home to the memory of Bayard Rustin! And then say it not matter!

    Replied on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:25pm
  9. BIGOTRY IS BIGOTRY!

    Replied on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:25pm
  10. I don’t care who you love it is not bothering me.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 5:14pm
  11. I didn’t expect to see something positive about the DHS; I’m surprised.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:16pm
  12. Never trust the GOP/libertarian/tea party QUEERS ..They about $$$ ; not WORLDWIDE justice

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:22pm
  13. I don’t care who love you are not hurting me.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:31pm
  14. i believe in equality. why can’t some people just let us the lgbt community alone & stop trying to hurt us? we did nothing to you.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 7:26pm
  15. How about we repeal the other half of DADT that is still firmly in place and allow Trans* service members to serve openly as they do in other nations.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 10:06pm
  16. dismantle Homeland Security, expose it for a Fascist over-reach of power.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 7:47am