BREAKING: DADT repeal likely to come up for a vote tonight

December 8, 2010 at 8:43 am 86 comments

By Adam Bink

Just this morning, Sen. Reid said the following on the Senate floor:

“And I’m likely going to move to my motion to reconsider on the Defense Authorization Act this evening. Allowing, as I will indicate at that time, time for amendments to that piece of legislation.”

(update) Video:

As I wrote earlier, if Sen. Reid allows for a process that accords Sen. Collins and other pro-repeal Republicans the opportunity to offer amendments with sufficient time for debate, it is very likely they will support the motion to reconsider, which requires 60 votes. That is our last major hurdle to overcome.

But, it’s no sure thing (it never is). So, that means it’s time to hit the phones for one last big push. The switchboard is 202-224-3121. This cannot be left up to backroom dealing between the Republicans and Sen. Reid. And as Joe wrote, this isn’t a political game. Both sides have to deal in good faith and not hide behind process. And then we’ll find out who’s on our side tonight.

Breaking this morning, we picked up Sen. Pryor. If that’s true, and Manchin and Lincoln go our way (and I’m told it’s likely they will), we’ll need two Republicans. So, based on what a few sources have told me this morning, the following are all potential votes for the motion to reconsider:

–Susan Collins (R-ME)

–Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

–Richard Lugar (R-IN)

–Judd Gregg (R-NH)

–Scott Brown (R-MA)

–George Voinovich (R-OH)

–Kit Bond (R-MO)

–Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

–Mark Kirk (R-IL)

–John Ensign (R-NV)

The number is 202-224-3121. Call them and ask them to support the motion to reconsider on the defense authorization bill. This is especially important if you are a constituent. Then, pick 5 family/friends/colleagues, and ask them to do the same. Tell them if there’s one holiday present you’d like in the social justice realm, it’s 5 minutes on the phone.

Then, post in the comments what you heard.

Let’s do this.

Update: Sen. Lieberman affirms that the biggest obstacle to repeal is process, not policy. In what appears to be a response to reports that Sen. Collins is not negotiating in good faith, via e-mail, Sen. Lieberman (who has been a strong champion for repeal) issued the following statement:

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) issued the following statement today in response to the baseless allegations that have been raised with respect to Senator Collins’ negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act:

“Senator Collins has been working in good faith to achieve an agreement on the process to move forward with the defense bill that contains the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I categorically reject reports by uninformed staffers who have suggested otherwise. As she always does, Senator Collins is working diligently and across party lines to find solutions to the challenges that confront our country. I call on those responsible for such baseless allegations to stop immediately and instead work to get to an agreement to bring this critical bill to the floor for Senate action.

“We are making progress toward an agreement to move forward on the defense bill that includes the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and I remain confident that we can reach an agreement, which is necessary before any vote on the motion to reconsider is taken. I am working closely with Senator Reid and Senator Collins and other members who want to reach a fair and reasonable agreement to move the defense authorization bill that that is so essential to the needs of our troops, veterans, and their families.

“It is now more clear than ever that we have 60 or more votes in support of repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ so it is vitally important to reach agreement on the right process to move forward.”

Like I wrote above, this shouldn’t just be a backroom process- it’s a public process, too. We’ve been enough of a political football. Make your voice heard so that even if a swing Republican Senator doesn’t like the “agreement”, the calls coming into his/her office are 85-15% in favor of repeal, and the Senator’s decision is made up for him/her.

202-224-3121. The target list is above.

Entry filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell.

As long as we’re all looking at Reinhardt’s record… Sen. Lisa Murkowski announces *support for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

86 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

    News …and hopefully positive change coming fast! s.

  • 2. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

    The firefighters’ bill, which it’s been expected will come up first, is now being debated on the floor.

  • 3. Ann S.  |  December 8, 2010 at 8:59 am


    • 4. Kathleen  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:11 am

      • 5. RebeccaRGB  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

        • 6. JonT  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

  • 7. Sagesse  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Standing on the north side of the border looking in… face pressed to the glass. Best of luck everyone.

  • 8. aaron in san fran  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Could one of the amendments be to remove the DADT repeal?

    • 9. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Yes, but it’s virtually certain that will fail.

      • 10. aaron in san fran  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

        Why? Couldn’t several vote for cloture and then vote on an amendment to repeal it?

  • 11. Alan E.  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Just repeal it already!

    • 12. Freddy  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      What Alan said…..

      • 13. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm


  • 14. scruzjimbo  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:18 am

    What happened to Ensign? I thought he was on board to vote for repeal…

    • 15. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

      His office hedged.

      • 16. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

        Ensign actually did hedge I wondered because my response form his office was that the Defense Authoriztion Bill was not a priority on the list to be brought up in lame duck, they didn’t respond to what would happen if it was brought up……

        Everyone, including their mother brother sister father aunt unce fiend cousin, girlfriend boyfriend, anyone and everyone, CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL

        It’s such a small thing when you think about it, take a few minutes of your times, heck call twice,,,,,,,

        At least we can say we tried, we did our part on this side of the house in attempts to get it there…..

        What about the rally in D.C. promoted by Service Members, any more word about that????

        • 17. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

          The rally is on, unless it doesn’t need to be anymore.

          • 18. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

            thanks Adam, hey Ronnie could you repost that link about the rally///////// here on this page,,,,, I lost track of the info and where it is

      • 19. scruzjimbo  |  December 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

        Now his name is back on the list

        • 20. scruzjimbo  |  December 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm

          Ensign that is

  • 21. eb  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Mark Kirk is not sworn into the senate until January…

    • 22. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:33 am

      That is incorrect. The election was technically a special election to replace Barack Obama, and he is currently serving as the junior Senator from Illinois. He voted against repeal in the House but his office said he would consider the report closely, and calls to his office reported that he’s undecided.

    • 23. scruzjimbo  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Kirk was sworn in on November 29. He’s serving the last couple of weeks of what was Obama’s senate term (later taken over by Roland Burris), then he goes into his own six-year term.

  • 24. John  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I did my part. I have awesome senators when it comes to DADT (Udall and Bennet), so no need to sway them on the actual vote – but I did let them know that I consider civil rights to be more important than any other partisan issue, so I encouraged them to be open to compromise on other legislation if it gets people rights. It is what should define our country – the land of the free and all that.

    • 25. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

      John, very well said, thanks for your phone call, for people with senators on board, would it help to also make a call to one or two who are undecided,

      you are able to make a good argument re defining our country, and civil rights being more important than other partisan issues.

      maybe people could copy that quote if they aren’t sure what else to say….. thanks

  • 26. Sagesse  |  December 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Timothy Kincaid… worth reading, as usual

    Additional thoughts on Prop 8 appeal

  • 27. Mackenzie  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I am from MO will definitely be calling Senator Bond, and probably the others if I get the time!

    • 28. elliom  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Me too! Where ’bouts?

  • 29. Sagesse  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Military chaplains again… voices of sanity

    Texas religious folk weigh in on chaplains’ concerns about repealing DADT

    • 30. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

      thank goodness, if Reid is successful in bringing it up, those Chaplains do not have a vote on the senate floor, their vote is the ones they bought from the repubs who already are a definite no…….

  • 31. Rich  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I just called Sen. Bonds office and voiced my wishes for a vote in favor of repeal. They said that while the Senator has not yet released a statement, they would pass on my concerns as a veteran and constituent.

  • 32. S  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:07 am

    ok, sorry–dumb question here.. I’m all for repealing DADT (finally!!) but haven’t ever called a congressman/woman..what do I say????

    • 33. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

      no dumb questions here!

      phone numbers:

      example of calling: (many of these on youtube):

    • 34. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

      @S you go , give it a try, you’re a virgin at this, way cool,, just do it… and tell us about it…… made me feel like I did something,

    • 35. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

      A simple script:

      “Hello, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent from __________ (where you live).

      I’m calling to tell Senator ____ to stand with Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Levin, and Senator Lieberman and vote for the motion to proceed on the Defense bill, which includes ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal. It’s critical that we pass repeal this year to strengthen our Armed Forces and end discrimination.”

    • 36. Straight Ally #3008  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

      S, to give you an example of what I did, I was on hold for around 10 minutes (I think it’s a good sign that the lines are so busy) and then a polite staffer picked up the phone. I identified myself and where I worked, told him that I thanked Sen. Brown for his careful attention to the DADT hearings, and urged him to approve NDAA with DADT repeal included. He said he would be sure that my message got to Sen. Brown. Nice and easy!

      • 37. Manilow  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

        OK – I called both California Senators’ offices – however, I failed to identify myself as a constituent to Boxer’s office because it was the first call I made and I was nervous! Will that make a difference?

        • 38. Carpool Cookie  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

          You can call back and explain that you left that out.

          (They might have seen your area code come up on their phones, though?)

          • 39. Manilow  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

            That was what I was hoping – that the office staffer saw my area code and realized it was from LA. I’m so nervous/excited to be a part of this!

        • 40. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm

          @Manilow, it is exciting to actually contact senators, and make our voices heard, glad you feel the nervous excitement, that comes from engaging…..

          call back, call another one, let’s work those phones….

          I like asking the receptionist what way the senator they work for is leaning on repeal and if they have made any statements about it for the record…..

          cause that’s fun to report back here just the next step as we get better at the phone thing and making those senators work for us,

  • 41. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:12 am

    my attempt from Canada, those phone lines are busy, ring for a long time,,,,, hope that continues all day, finally a voice, Senator Collins not available, but she is in favour of repeal if the republicans get their opportunity to vote on amendments??

    not sure what that means……

    • 42. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

      That’s SOP for Collins dating back to September. She’s pro-repeal but won’t vote for the motion to reconsider if there aren’t amendments/substantial time to debate them. Thanks for calling and the comment.

  • 43. Sagesse  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

    From SCOTUSblog

    Prop. 8: Deciding what to decide

    I haven’t had a chance to read this yet.

  • 44. Ed  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    OT, but i tried to post a comment on NOM’s blog… small little word….Hello. Thats all i tried to post….”hello”, and it was deleted LOL

    • 45. BK  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      Maybe you need to write something more to their liking, like, well, whatever they usually say. The ol’ homophobic and inconsiderate rants their brains are prone to expel.

  • 46. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Sen. McCain’s office is only taking voicemails – so I left another one. Will email also.

    Have not been able to get through to Kyl’s office – busy. Will keep trying.

    • 47. Freddy  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      LLB, do you think the effort with McLame is even worth it? I could see Kyle but…..

      • 48. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

        It certainly can’t hurt!

  • 49. mackenzie  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I got through to bond and murkowski….now i keep getting a busy tone when i call the switch board. I hope that is good news for us!

  • 50. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

    lines are definetly busy, do they have an e-mail address??

    I’m going to keep pressing redial

  • 53. S  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:40 am

    thanks! I’ll call some of the “undecideds”…I’m from PA, and luckily we have Specter’s and Casey’s votes.

  • 54. mackenzie  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Just called again and got through to senator Collins. In the process heard the switchboard operator complgaining about all of the lines being backed up. :-D

    • 55. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

      My first switchboard operator sounded very happy (she must be for the repeal of DADT – or loves her job.)

      The second one seemed a bit stressed. Hopefully they aren’t understaffed today!

  • 56. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    busy busy busy, ring ring, Snowes line was not free, so asked to put through tho Lugar, he has not and will not make any comment on which way he votes, he will decide that at the time the vote comes up if it does……..

    left him a message from Canada, to do the right thing, his seceretary said he would pass that along……

    • 57. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Bob.

      Everyone, keep it up. A few lobbyists on our side told me a few offices were at 50/50 pro and anti-repeal. And a couple leaving more strongly pro. So, this is making a big difference!

  • 58. Martha  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Lines busy, but finally connected with both Kerry and Brown.

    S, I promise you it get easier once you break the ice with the first call.

  • 59. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

    between calls I’ve been doing the e-mail thing, I write that I am requesting them to do the right thing and repeal DADT, as the survey shows, it actually impedes readiness and cohesion, and I’m writing on behalf of your allies, the Canadian military, who are put in harms way by this discriminatroy poiciy


    • 60. Kathleen  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

      That’s a great message, Bob.

  • 61. Kate  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

    This is the same Thomas of Vota Bus fame.

    • 62. bonobo  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:49 am

      That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks Kate. BTW who is this “Don” person? He’s hysterical.

      • 63. Kate  |  December 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

        Hi Bo! I’ve missed you. How have you and Mom been?

        • 64. bonobo  |  December 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

          Hi Kate, We’re doing fine over here. If it would just stop raining. Got a new kitten we’ve named Troubleossa, Trouble for short. Ossa stands for “Oh S**t She’s Awake”, if that gives you any clue as to her personality. She’s keeping me busy, as is Mom. So, what have I missed in the month I’ve been gone? I’m trying madly to catch up. How’s it going up there?

      • 65. anonygrl  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

        Don seems to be very concerned that the “Reds” are coming, doesn’t he? He has rather usurped NOM’s comment pages lately.

        On the other hand, from what he writes, the American Communist party IS a strong ally of ours, which I was not aware of, but it is good to know.

        Thanks for the info, Don, and I will be looking them up, as I am a Theoretical Communist myself, that is, I think it is a GREAT theory. Sadly it only works with small groups, not on a countrywide scale. Ah well.

    • 66. fiona64  |  December 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      Well, Donny One-Note does seem to be very concerned with the Red Menace, doesn’t he?

      (Hola, Tomas!)


  • 67. StraightForEquality  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I just tried to call but all lines are busy. I’ll try again later. I am in Sen. Gregg’s district.

    • 68. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      Senator Gregg’s receptionis (they all seem to be male) sounds very snarky, he says the senator does not give out his position on his stand with regard to repeal , we’ll know after he votes…… no room for discussion he cut me off quickly

      • 69. anonygrl  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

        I suggest you call right back if that happens and say “Young man… you work for the Senator, which also means you work for me. Your rudeness is uncalled for, now… please tell the Senator that these are my views on this subject…”

  • 70. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    More calls to make, but this is worth the effort. DADT has GOT TO GO! And it has to go NOW!!!!!

  • 71. dtwirling  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    In addition to calling your senators…

    Obama’s community organizing people finally sent out a message about DADT. The email message links people to On that page, it’ll give you supporters to call (name & phone number) and a script, asking them to call their senator.

    I think for those of us who live in states whose senators are already on-board, this is a great way to help get this repeal passed.

    • 72. dtwirling  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      I just clicked the [x] in the corner when it asked me to login.

  • 73. BK  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    *nervously waiting*

    Can’t wait to see what the result is… if they’ll have any vote at all, what the results will be, so much to worry about, haha. I’m hopeful this will turn out all right.

  • 74. Manilow  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    So I just called the two senators from Nebraska – and I think they have the same receptionist – is that possible? I swear it was the same guy.

    Also, Nelson’s staffer said he supports repeal 100% – I was shocked since my experience with Nelson has been that he is a DINO.

    • 75. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Nelson has been very good on this issue.

      • 76. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        And you have been very good on your coverage, Adam. One request. Can you speak with Eden and the rest and find out what is going on with the “Maggie’s Advocacy” thread. When I try to respond to comments, I keep getting a 404-File not Found error.

        • 77. nightshayde  |  December 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm

          The “Maggie’s Advocacy” thread is no longer listed in the erm … list of threads.

          What happened? Anyone know?

  • […] the good side, our pressure is […]

  • 79. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Good news- Sen. Murkowski has announced support for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”- but not yet for the motion to proceed. Still, this is working. New thread here.

    • 80. Bob  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      woot woot Murkowski, I just finished my e-mail to her as a concerned Canadian, trying to get her on phone,,,,but this is good news…..

      any idea if we are getting close to a statement from any others and how many more will it take, who should we zero in on??

      • 81. adambink  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

        No word from other offices. Waiting for reports of a deal with Collins/the Majority Leader. Of course, not everything is contingent on that.

        Basically, have the votes to repeal the policy and reject any bad amendments, but not yet on the process. So calls should emphasize support for a motion to proceed for everyone, including Murkowski.

  • 82. Rhie  |  December 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Will catch up

  • 83. Ronnie  |  December 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Collins is an un-patriotic b!tI …..Ronnie

    • 84. Ronnie  |  December 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      ok didn’t post the whole thing….retry….Collin’s is an un-patriotic (rhymes with witch)….been out all day looking at apartments in NYC…just to come home & find out this women is holding this bill hostage just to debate what has already been debated over & over & over & over & over again….REPEAL THE F@#KING LAW….& stop disrespecting the brave men & women who are risking their lives for you, you selfish shrew….. > I …..Ronnie

  • 85. Rich  |  December 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    You gotta love this…NOM has few, if any, posts but someone named “Don” is obsessed with the Communists and their supposed infiltration of the gay movement. Did somebody resurrect Joe McCarthy? They have a “seasonal” blog on-line so I offered my seasonal best wishes for gay-straight families (married and otherwise)…it won’t last there; no counter argument ever does. But, just for the fun of it, let’s all hit them with our seasonal best wishes.

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