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U.S. House to vote on stand alone ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal Wednesday

U.S. House to vote on stand alone ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal Wednesday

The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to take a vote Wednesday on a stand alone repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” introduced earlier today by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon: “The House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s standalone #DADT repeal bill tomorrow – Senate action on #DADT is long overdue.”

The legislation is identical to the measure offered by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) after the Senate failed to debate the Defense Authorization bill last week for the second time this year. The massive policy bill includes language ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and was passed the House in May.

Gay rights advocates and Democratic Congressional aides not authorized to speak publicly on the issue believe that having the House vote first on the new bill will force the Senate to consider it as a privileged resolution before the lame-duck session concludes, reports the Washington Post.

On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the stand alone repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Senate. The bill, SB 4023, is sponsored by Lieberman, has gained momentum in recent days — it now carries 41 co-sponsors, including Collins, Gillibrand and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

“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,” Pelosi said in a statement last week.

Though Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) supports the new proposal, he has not said when senators might vote on it, if at all.

Lieberman said he is confident he has the 60 votes in the Senate necessary to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a stand alone bill, and said “time is of the essence.”

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