Gates: Repeal DADT During Lame Duck Session

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates is urging Congress to repeal the military’s ban on gays serving openly. He s...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is urging Congress to repeal the military’s ban on gays serving openly. He spoke to reporters while travelling to Australia. NPR quotes him as saying, "I would like to see the repeal of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are.” Mr. Gates suggests Congress use its lame duck session to pass repeal -- before Republicans take control of the House in January. But as Jim Miklaszewski reports on MSNBC -- fat chance of that happening. JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: “‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ right now does not appear to be a high priority for Democrats on the hill or particularly the White House. And the chances that it would be enacted immediately in the -- when the Republicans take control of the House in January is even less likely.” And high-profile dissent from Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos – who on Saturday said the 17-year-old policy was –quote— “not a social issue” but rather about “combat effectiveness. And for The Wall Street Journal - Laura Meckler suggests hope for repeal is - quote - “all but lost.” “Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona ... are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it.” In September, when repeal was attached to the defense bill -- it failed to win the 60 votes it needed to pass in the Senate. And C-SPAN reports even White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is signalling there isn’t much of an appetite for repeal during the lame duck session. So what WILL be on the agenda? “One, of course, tax cuts, the Bush tax cuts. The other a START treaty with Russia, a child nutrition bill, and the president wants his budget director confirmed -- that is Jack Lew.” And firedoglake’s David Dayden says even Secretary Gates’ widely-quoted appeal isn’t as airtight as it’s being reported. “I could see some Pentagon flak coming back to everyone to clarify that Gates merely meant he would like to see repeal in the abstract... Also, he was talking to reporters in Australia, where gays and lesbians can serve in the military, so that may have colored his remarks.” The Pentagon is completing a study to determine the effect of repeal on military readiness and cohesion. Those results are due December 1st -- but leaked details reported by The Huffington Post suggest most military servicemembers and their families are not opposed to repeal. Get more multi-source political news from Newsy****.
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