UPDATE: House Passes DADT Repeal
[Update 2:28 p.m. PST: The House passed a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't tell by a vote of 250-175-9. The stand-alone measure will now go to the Senate for a vote.]
The House is making a last ditch stand Wednesday to revive the repeal on gays openly serving in the military.
Striking down the so-called Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is now packaged as a stand alone bill and is currently being debated in the House where it is expected to be approved. Last week it was woven into a defense spending bill and met a brick wall in the Senate. Chris Good at The Atlantic explains why it was packaged into the larger military spending bill:
The rationale for packaging DADT with the Defense bill went like this: Congressional leaders and the White House had decided earlier this year to do it that way, out of fear that poison-pill amendments would shoot down a DADT-only bill.
"You can't take a piece of legislation like this to the floor as a stand-alone," Jim Manley, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman and communications adviser, said two weeks ago. "It'll attract amendments from all corners of the right-wing firmament."
That strategy failed. Making it into a simple yes-down vote now improves its chances of approval. The House has already passed one version of the appeal. Today's version, when approved as expected, will put more pressure on the Senate to do the same.
A similar stand-alone bill has been introduced into the Senate by co-sponsors Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
The Pentagon's internal review has recommended repeal of the measure, instituted during the Clinton era.