Jarrod Chlapowski

DADT Repeal is Dead, Long Live DADT Repeal

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | December 10, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, Harry Reid, Susan Collins

We lost yesterday. But the loss may have been a good thing as it opened the door to a much more expedited process. collins2.jpg

What Happened:

Negotiations on how to introduce NDAA between Senators Reid and Collins failed, and Reid dropped the bill anyway in the same exact manner that he did in September.

Over the past week, Collins had made clear to Reid that in order to get enough Republicans on board to pass repeal (roughly 3 - 4), the amendment process needed to be fair, and it needed to be done after tax cuts were knocked out. Reid saw Republican resistance to NDAA as another partisan ploy, and while it was possible to get R's on board to see the issue through, the amount of time NDAA could potentially take up in the lame duck made pushing the issue much less appealing.

It's key to note here that Collins was not committing to a "no" vote OR ELSE. It's more that she was functioning as a mediator between noble Washington (Lieberman, Mark Udall, et al) and partisan Washington (Reid, McCain, et al). Her efforts convinced Reid Wednesday night to take more time to negotiate the process, negotiations that were not complete Thursday morning. Upon finding out the Republicans were ready to tackle tax-cuts yesterday morning, Reid chose to delay his decision on when to go forward on NDAA.

Thursday afternoon - while Sen. Lincoln was away on a dentist appointment and Collins out of the room - Reid unexpectedly and with little announcement dropped NDAA for a vote with a partisan speech mostly complaining about Republican obstructionism and how there wasn't enough time to do NDAA if they waited beyond Thursday to drop the bill (which was true only if Reid kept to the December 17th adjournment date he himself set). Collins rushed into the room in a last attempt to keep the bill from failing, pleading that she did not understand why he was doing this when negotiations were almost complete. Reid dropped the bill anyway.

Vote count and breakdown of the standlone bill, after the jump.

Fifty-six Dems voted 'aye', one (Lincoln) absent, one (Manchin) 'nay'. Forty Repubs voted 'nay', two (Cornyn, Brownback) absent, one (Collins) 'aye.' Immediately Senators Lieberman, Collins, Mark Udall, and Gillibrand signed on to a standalone bill (S 4022) to push for repeal.

Where Are We Now

Reid has stated he will both allow S 4022 to be voted on in the lame-duck session and will invoke Rule XIV, which allows the bill to skip committee and go straight to the Senate floor. From what I understand, the rule requires unanimous consent (UC) only if it's introduced on the same day as the actual vote, meaning Reid likely will oppose his own call to invoke Rule XIV so he can go forward on voting in the bill as soon as the next day. When the bill will drop is unknown.

Nancy Pelosi has announced her own support for a standalone bill, though a bill number has yet to be announced or submitted as of this writing. It is expected the language will match both the language that was inserted in NDAA earlier this year and the language of S 4022 so that the bill would not have to be conferenced and get to the President's desk earlier.

What you can do: learn the issue. Take time today to absorb the ins and outs of everything that is going on - at the very least by reading my last 10 or so blog posts - and be ready to go on Monday.

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Sounds like you're doing a lot of whining about how Democrats acted and not willing to point out that the 40 Republicans were nothing more than bigots. Your constant support of the very people who screwed us and will always screw us is a bit distressing. It brings back the self-loathing images of the LCR that others have painted. YOUR party voted against the bill, putting their hatred of LGBT people far above the needs of the troops on the battlefields. I hope you are happy.

Hmmmm... Collins was the leader of a small group of Republicans who were using DADT repeal as a political bargaining chip to ram through a tax plan that will hurt millions of low-income families & burden future generations with even more debt, all to give millionaires a huge tax break. I find it odd that you are painting such a sympathetic picture of someone who would use our rights as a partisan bargaining chip.

As I wrote to a co-worker yesterday, "Collins, Brown & Murkowski are 100% in favor of DADT repeal, as long as they get tax cuts for millionaires first. And 10 amendments. And four days of debate. And ponies. And hot fudge sundaes. And a song dedicated to them sung live by Lady Gaga." If those three were truly in favor of DADT repeal, they should have VOTED FOR DADT REPEAL, not held it hostage. (I give Collins no credit for casting a late, shameful YES vote after it was clear cloture would fail.)

Harry Reid may not be a hero today, but neither is Susan Collins.

TerryChasteen | December 10, 2010 11:06 AM

Is there any reason to think the stand-alone bill will not also be held hostage by Republicans until the tax cut and government funding issues are finalized? It sounds like one more disappointment headed our way.

CHICAGO, protest #DADTFAIL, Friday, 12:15-12:30, Fed Plaza outside NAY vote Kirk's new office. Please pass this on! http://fb.me/DsnrdAej

Your math (above) should say "fifty-six Democrats," not "forty-six" that voted yes.

At least we know where Manchin stands and it isn't a surprise. There are still only 56 LGBT-supportive votes in the US Senate. The republicans that support repeal are doing so with the Military's "permission." I wouldn't count them as supportive.

If Repeal is going to come up again in the lame-duck session, the Republicans are going to have to be satisfied that "government is funded and the Bush tax cuts are extended." That's doubtful and it looks like an impasse.

Fixed. Thanks, Andrew.

We do have Lincoln, who said as much after the vote. So that's 57, leaving us with needing 3 R's. Collins is for sure one, and Murkowski and Brown are close seconds, as are Lugar and Voinovich. Snowe and Ensign are hard thirds.

Yeah, I'm with Sam. It seems like her insane list of demands was made-up just to postpone DADT repeal until the session was over. I don't think she was negotiating in good faith (I know, a Republican Senator negotiating in bad faith. What a shocker).

The bottom line is that Harry Reid put this forward to a vote knowing full well it would fail.

By "fair amendment process" you of course mean "democrats get half as many as republicans" since that is what collins was demanding.

It's sad for me after once having financially contribued to and enthusiastically supported SU to see Mr. Chlapowski, once again, don his Log Cabin Repug hat to chirp the Repug Party Line. Let's examine some facts:

"Throughout the first 15 minutes of the vote, Collins repeatedly broke into huddles with Lieberman and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), reading through legislative language on the floor, at times rolling it up into a ball and angrily waving her arms about how the process was handled. Collins voted with Democrats to proceed on the bill, but only AFTER it became clear her vote would not effect the outcome. Collins, Reid, and Lieberman had negotiated for more than a week on an agreement that would allow Republicans to introduce up to 10 amendments to the bill, with Democrats adding up to five. Collins agreed to the amendment count Wednesday, but held firm to a request for at least four days of debate on the bill and amendments." - Washington Post.

"Four days"???? In "Lame Duck Time," that's like four weeks. The clock didn't stop each time she rolled out another demand to be Senate Prom Queen. It keeps ticking away, winding down to January 4th, the absolute last day any vote on any outstanding bill could be taken. [A bill last month established Noon, Jan. 5th, for the start of the 112th Congress.]

"'It would have been much more than four days', the aide [to Sen. Reid] says. 'Her suggestions were flat out unworkable given how the Senate really operates. You can talk about four days until the cows come home. That has very little meaning for Coburn and DeMint and others who have become very skilled at grinding this place to a halt'." - The Washington Post.

And in the remaining time, DEFAUTH must not only pass once in the Senate, but TWICE—the second, albeit mostly pro forma, would be AFTER it goes into "joint conference committee" to be "reconciled" with the House version. That process takes days of its own, and, itself, requires a vote of both houses' conferees before it can be "reported out" and voted on their floors that second time. The conference process gives McShame ANOTHER opportunity to try to run out the clock with stalling....and he will try to do the same thing with the standalone bill.

"Collins' vote does not disprove that she undercut our victory. Anyone who knows how the Senate actually works inside knows that Senators are sometimes cut loose and permitted to vote contrary to the way the leadership wants IF, and only if, it's clear the vote is going to fail anyway. Collins didn't spend 20 minutes dissing the bill, telling her colleagues that a deal permitting them to vote for cloture had not been reached, just for kicks. She convinced Murkowski and Brown to vote against cloture, then voted for it herself to cover her behind with the angry constituents back home, hoping they were clueless enough about Senate procedure to think that she supported them all along. She's no hero here. Don't get me wrong, Senator Reid isn't exactly a hero either, nor is the President. But the notion that Collins somehow proved she wasn't against us is naive." - John Aravosis, AMERICAblog, himself a former Republican but, who, unlike Mr. Chlapowski, has actually worked IN the Senate, as a legislative attorney and foreign policy adviser for former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

Brava for Collins cosponsoring the standalone bill, but just like Obama who could have killed the ban he claims to hate by not appealing the ruling against it in the LCR case [the ONE concrete thing the group has done right in its history] and the Witt case, Collins could have voted for cloture in September, and lobbied other Repug senators to do the same, daring buck the procedural game playing of Mitch McConnell.

As could members of our own Community. Isn't it enough that the Log Cabin Repugs helped drive our greatest ally in Congress, Patrick Murphy, out of office by endorsing his opponent simply because he was a Repug? Must they continue to try to paint its current cabal as a herd of innocent little lambs whose gay-loving throats have been ripped out by Big Bad Wolf Reid? The Senate Majority Leader has made mistakes, but that puts the fairy in fairytale.

I was told so many times in so many ways by so many ppl (including HRC direct-solicitors) that I will regret not giving HRC money to support embattled Dems (such as Reid)in the election in November...still wondering when that is going to happen, but certainly not so far...