December 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
BREAKING: Reid schedules ‘Don’t Ask’ vote on Saturday

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid intends to have a possible vote on 'Don't Ask' on Saturday (Blade photo by Michael Key).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tonight filed cloture on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation for a possible vote in the Senate on Saturday.

Regan Lachappelle, a Reid spokesperson, said the Senate no longer plans take up omnibus legislation to fund the government as originally planned and will instead proceed to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the DREAM Act, an immigration-related bill.

“The first vote will be on cloture on the DREAM Act on Saturday,” Lachapelle said. “If that fails we would move to the cloture vote on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

At least 60 votes are necessary to invoke cloture on legislation. If cloture is invoked Saturday on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation, a vote for final passage could take place 30 hours later. The vote for final passage requires a simple majority of senators.

Gay rights supporters expressed confidence that the votes are present to move ahead with “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” legislation.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the sponsor of the repeal legislation, praised Reid for scheduling the vote and said sufficient support is present in the Senate to move forward.

“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes to end this law that discriminates against military service members based solely on their sexual orientation,” he said. “Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will affirm the Senate’s commitment to the civil rights of all Americans and also make our military even stronger.”

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said he’s “gratified” that Reid moved ahead with a vote on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation.

“It’s time that senators vote their consciences and move our military and our country forward,” Solmonese said. “This has always been an issue of integrity for our military and the brave gay and lesbian service members who serve our country every day. America is ready for a vote and there’s no need for anymore waiting.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • I think you mean thirty hours, instead of thirty years.

  • I’ll believe this when I see it. Every time the Dems get us excited about the prospect of DADT being repealed the GOP always comes up with some excuse to vote against us, and of course there are the few Dems who vote against us, such as both the senators from Arkansas, and more recently that clown Manchin from West Virginia. Then there are the few Republicans they are always talking about who supposedly favor the repeal but always manage to vote against it, like Brown, Snowe, Murkowski and sometimes Collins. For God’s sake people, all we need is for the Dems to stick together with perhaps two Republicans! And when Reid says he will call for a vote on Saturday, he had better mean it with no excuses for putting it off, because there won’t be time to get it done if they don’t pass it now.

  • Pundits have indeed posed the possibility that Republicans have taken the position that they would Either give in on DADT or on the Dream Act.

    Although the American Public is in favor of Repeal, Right Wingers and Religious Zealots are vehemently against Repeal.

    Reid has questionably scheduled the Dream Act to be First. Time will tell, but if Brown, Murkowski, Snowe or any of the other previously committed Senators back out, then they can know with certainty that I will be coming to their States at election time, and contributing my time and resources to get each of them voted out of office.

    This is my committment.

    Please call your Senators TODAY! (202)224-3121

  • Since so many resources, time and energy have been invested into DADT and we are so close to passage, then it would be a nice way to end the year getting it passed.

    Sadly, ENDA never had the same opportunity yet would have benefited the most of us as a minority of us work in the US military! A wonderful opportunity squandered! DADT repeal would be a bitter sweet victory but satisfying to defeat the right-wing!

  • Right now the MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO to get this over the finish line is to call our Senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to vote to REPEAL DON”T ASK DON’T TELL THIS YEAR. Please call, get all your friends to call, and get their friends to call TODAY. Also, if you live in DC and are wondering who to call — think of all of your friends and family who live in the other 50 states, call them and get THEM to call. THIS is the moment. Call the Senate at 202-224-3121, and tell them to Repeal DADT NOW!

  • PLEASE Call the Senate now at 202-224-3121 and urge your senators to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell NOW. Get your friends to call too. We cannot take anything for granted until this finally passes. No matter how supportive or opposed to equality your senators are, remember that they can always be better and they can always be worse. Hearing directly from us, their constituents, really makes a difference. It gets supportive senators to be more so, to try to get their colleagues on board, to co-sponsor legislation, to speak out in favor, etc. And calling the opponents can also get them to be less actively opposed, less inclined to go along with a filibuster, or make an anti-gay speech, etc.

    Calls are especially important to senators who may be undecided and persuadable (Voinovich (OH), Lugar (IN), maybe even Manchin still (WV) — and calls to the 4 Republicans who have announced support are absolutely critical (Snowe, Murkowski, Brown, Collins) to make sure they know they’re doing the right thing as far as their constituents are concerned.

    But no matter who your senators are, please, please, PLEASE call them NOW. It is really up to each of us for our senators to hear as many pro-equality calls as possible. Call the Senate at 202-224-3121. Urge them to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell NOW. Then spread the word and get your friends to call too. Thank you!

  • This legislation shouldn’t have been the focus of so much energy of the Democrats and the L.G.B.T. community. E.N.D.A. would have benefited an exponentially greater number of individuals that are experiencing discrimination.. E.N.D.A. probably would have encountered less resistance since it wouldn’t have involved the ultra conservative’s favorite institution, the military. Whatever.

    Now that the tax deal has passed I’ll bet that the republicans have no intention of moving their off their dead asses to work on liberal legislation of any kind. Conservatives are liars and bigots and they don’t seem concerned about hiding that fact any more. Believe it or not, this obstructionism by GOP will end up being a positive for the repeal of DADT.

    If it DADT isn’t repealed this coming week the courts will intervene and the military will have an injunction forced on them prohibiting the enforcement of DADT. The rest is up to Obama and his anti-gay Dept. of Justice.

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