The DADT Deal isn't through Congress yet, and while there are enough votes to get it attached to the Defense Authorization Act, there may not be enough to get around a Republican filibuster. And they're planning one:
Armed Services ranking member John McCain said Thursday that he would "without a doubt" support a filibuster if the bill goes to the floor with repeal language.
"I'll do everything in my power," the Arizona Republican said, citing letters from the four service chiefs urging Congress not to act before a Pentagon review of the policy is complete. "I'm going to do everything I can to support the men and women of the military and to fight what is clearly a political agenda."
Every time that man talks I'm glad he lost in 2008. A political agenda in the US Senate? How could they! Everyone knows the Senate isn't a political body and has no politicians in it.
Anyway, his reasoning makes no sense, no, but he's up for reelection this year and he thinks he can stake a position out on this issue. There are some in the House (which is 100% up for reelection) threatening to vote no on Defense Authorization altogether:
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told members that he would vote against the whole defense bill if it includes the repeal measure.
House Democrats are taking seriously the Republican threat to vote against the underlying bill and may have to reach out to some of the most liberal House members to secure their votes on final passage. Some liberals who traditionally vote against every defense bill are firm supporters of repealing "Don't ask, don't tell."
"Reach out" is unlikely to include "making any changes to the bill to get their vote."
And Republicans did make good on their threat in the Senate last year:
It's not easy to get 35 Republican senators to vote against defense spending -- unless hate crimes legislation is involved.
The Senate narrowly invoked cloture on Thursday, 64 to 35, on the defense authorization package with the bill named for Matthew Shepard attached. The bill, named for a gay Wyoming teenager who was kidnapped and beaten to death in 1998, makes it a federal crime to assault someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Senate Republicans conceded that the Shepard bill swung their votes against the defense package. "The bill includes hate crimes legislation, which I firmly believe is unnecessary, irresponsible, and certainly not germane to this bill," Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said. "There is little evidence that indicates that violent crimes motivated by hate go unpunished in the United States. Every single state has criminal laws that prohibit the antisocial behavior addressed by hate crimes legislation, including laws against rape, assault and battery."
And that was with hate crimes legislation, that didn't have military leaders opposing it. Maybe they'll find another five votes against it, maybe the House has more Republicans willing to vote no. I don't know.
But this isn't a done deal yet.