News (USA)

Lieberman to sponsor stand-alone legislation to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Update, 12/10/10:

Making good on his promise, tweeted yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), on Thursday, announced he would sponsor Senate Bill 4022, “a bill to provide for the repeal of the Department of Defense policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.'”

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

Lieberman said Thursday that he has the necessary 60 votes to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was defeated yesterday, for the second time, as part of the larger Defense Authorization bill, when the GOP-led filibuster prevented a debate and vote from coming to the Senate floor.

Full text of SB 4022 is not yet available; check back for updates.

Last night, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement:

“The bipartisan proposal from Senators Lieberman and Collins provides renewed hope that progress is still possible in the Senate; an army of allies stands ready in the House to pass a standalone repeal of the discriminatory policy once the Senate acts.”

Update, 12/10/10, 7:30 p.m. ET:

Just after 7 p.m., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the updated bill SB 4023, the stand-alone “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill, before the Senate ended for the day. The bill carries 27 co-sponsors.

No further action is expected until Monday.

Not more than an hour after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal failed in the Senate — following a key procedural vote on the Defense Authorization bill — Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said he and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) plan to introduce a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal as “stand alone” vote this session.

“Senator Collins and I, Senator (Mark) Udall (D-Colo.) and others will be, perhaps by the end of this day, introducing a free-standing bill — a separate piece of legislation — to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy,” Lieberman said in an afternoon news conference, following the Senate vote.

Lieberman also took to Twitter in annoucing his next steps:

Lieberman reports that Reid will invoke “Rule 14” on the free-standing DADT repeal, so that it bypasses committee and is brought directly to the Senate floor before the end of the lame-duck session — Lieberman said the necessary 60 votes are there.

Rule 14 is a Senate procedure that gives the majority leader the right to expedite legislation.

The defense spending bill failed by a vote of 57-40 on Thursday, just 3 votes shy of the 60 needed to override a Republican-led filibuster.

Check back here for continuing coverage on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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