Congress to Vote on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Today

Legislation paves way for gays serving openly
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2010 7:29 AM CDT
Congress to Vote on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Today
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses cadets.   (Mark Reis)

The House is expected to vote as early as today on a proposal that would repeal "don't ask, don't tell." Under the bill, which would give the military as much time as it wants to lift ban, the president, defense secretary, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must first certify the new policy won't hurt the military's ability to fight. The Senate Armed Services Committee is also expected to take up an identical measure as early as today;

Supporters said the panel has enough votes to pass the bill after key holdouts, including Sen. Ben Nelson, announced they would swing behind it. Advocates hope its momentum will carry over to the House, where several conservative Democrats are threatening to oppose the massive defense spending bill if it includes the repeal provision. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he supports repeal but would prefer that Congress wait to vote until he can talk to the troops and chart a path forward. A study he ordered is due Dec. 1. (Read more Congress stories.)

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