Gop Blocks Move Toward Dont Ask Dont Tell Repeal

09.21.10 | FL News Team

(Washington, DC)  --  Senate Republicans have blocked movement toward a repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  The long standing policy bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.  Democrats attached an amendment to a defense bill that would set the stage for repeal of the controversial policy.  The vote was 56-43 as Democrats failed to hit a required 60-vote threshold.  Republicans argued that any move toward repeal should wait until completion of a comprehensive Pentagon study on the impacts of ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  

Democrats also failed to advance an immigration measure that was attached to the defense spending authorization bill.  The Dream Act would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are serving in the U.S. military or attending American colleges and universities.  Republicans argued that the Dream Act and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" do not belong in a military spending bill and they accused Democrats of election-year politicking.

In the hours before the Senate vote, President Obama's nominee to head the Marine Corps spoke out against repeal.  In a congressional hearing, Marine General James Amos said repealing the controversial policy could be a distraction for U.S. troops fighting in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.  He warned that it could also disrupt unit cohesion.  President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen all support repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."