WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday released a statement signaling that he will bring the proposed repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to a vote in Congress’ current lame duck session.
“Our Defense Department supports repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces,” Reid said. “We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so.”
Reid announced that he intends to call for a vote on the defense authorization bill to which the repeal proposal is attached sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday. Republicans blocked debate on the same piece of legislation prior to the midterm elections, and its chances of passage remain uncertain, as several key Republican leaders, including Sen. John McCain, continue to vocally oppose a lift of the ban.
A spokesperson for the White House, however, said the Obama administration has this week been reaching out to “dozens of senators from both sides of the aisle on this issue” to advocate for a vote in support of repeal.
Sen. Carl Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and supports repeal, has asked Reid to delay the vote until after Dec. 1, the due date for a Pentagon study on the implementation and implications of the anti-gay policy’s abolition. Officials close to the survey recently told The Washington Post that its results indicate a majority of troops and their families believe DADT could be struck down with little harm to unit cohesion or military operations.