WASHINGTON — Three more Republican Senators on Thursday signaled that they would vote in favor of a standalone bill passed Wednesday by the House that would end the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would schedule a Senate vote on the repeal legislation as early as Saturday.
Recent attempts to repeal DADT legislatively have faced resistance in the Senate, which rejected the broader defense authorization bill that would have ended the anti-gay ban with an attached provision. Repeal supporters in Congress quickly backfired with a separate bill focused solely on the policy’s abolition.
According to The New York Times, “By Thursday, Senator Susan Collins, the bill’s one Republican sponsor, had been joined by three other Republican senators — Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine — in supporting the measure.”
The measure appears to be gaining momentum: 54 Democrats and two independents support it, and the new backing by the aforementioned Republicans may lead to the bill garnering the 60 votes necessary to block a Republican filibuster.
But obstacles still linger for the bill. Republicans could call for amendments, which would delay a vote, and some leaders have indicated that some members of the GOP are threatening to block the New Start nuclear proliferation treaty with Russia if repeal proceeds.