December 10, 2010
By Adam Bink
“So it ain’t over until it’s over. And insofar as the efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, it ain’t over. We’ve got 60 or more votes. And we’re going to keep fighting until the clock runs out. As I look at the clock, there’s as lot of time left to get this bill done.”-Sen. Lieberman, December 9th
“As Sen. Lieberman has indicated, I am convinced that there are 60 or even 61 or 62 votes to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”-Sen. Collins, December 9th
I wrote last night about why the Lieberman/Collins stand-alone bill to repeal “”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a viable path to doing so, and perhaps even a more viable path than the previous one. The key reason is that there are 60 Senators who have publicly stated they (a) oppose the policy (b) will vote to repeal it.
But, because of legislative wrangling, mixed messages, and the like, we need to be 100% sure on this. Thus, we need to whip the key swing votes to make sure they will vote to support the Lieberman/Collins bill. In other words, for those who have only recently come out in favor, we need to make sure their support for repeal translates to the new Lieberman/Collins bill. And for those who haven’t but have refused to announce their position one way or another, we need to build pressure on them so they become our fail-safe. We have 60 pro-repeal Senators; now we just need to make sure we have 60 Senators who will vote in favor of the Lieberman/Collins bill before Congress adjourns.
To that end, this morning, Courage Campaign deployed state-specific e-mails to ask residents to call the following Senate offices. You too can help by making calls. The ask is to vote in favor of the Lieberman/Collins stand-alone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before Congress adjourns. Then, report what you heard here:
And if you could leave a comment on this post, that would also be helpful so we can quickly and continually update who’s with us.
Here are the targets:
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): 202-224-6665
George Voinovich (R-OH): 202-224-3353
Olympia Snowe (R-ME): 202-224-5344
Richard Lugar (R-IN): 202-224-4814
Judd Gregg (R-NH): 202-224-3324
Scott Brown (R-MA): 202-224-4543
Kit Bond (R-MO): 202-224-5721
Mark Kirk (R-IL): 202-224-2854
Joe Manchin (D-WV): 202-224-3954
Two examples of why these people are targets. Yesterday, Sen. Manchin, who was a no vote, told the NYTimes he thought the policy “probably should” be ended. A senior Hill aide also told Huffington Post’s Sam Stein “I would say that if he was somehow the 60th vote, I do not think he would have voted the way he did.” Manchin is a possibility.
Snowe is also a possibility. Read between the lines in the excerpt of her statement released last night:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) released the following statement:
“My vote today against cloture was on the basis that the Majority prohibited any amendments from being offered to the $725 billion Defense Authorization bill. It did not relate to the provision incorporated in the underlying legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, as I was still in the process of reviewing the Department of Defense’s comprehensive report released just last week and subsequent testimony of Defense Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen and the five service chiefs.”
Snowe has always been a swing vote, but she is ever more so this morning.
So let’s make those calls. Ask the Senator to vote in favor of the Lieberman/Collins stand-alone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before Congress adjourns. The target list is above. Then, report what you heard at http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/DADTreport and in the comments.
Let’s do this.
A sample e-mail to Massachusetts residents, targeting Scott Brown, is below.
Dear Eden –
The bad news: The Senate failed to move forward (to invoke “cloture”) on a repeal vote Thursday, falling just short of the 60 votes required to bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor for debate. Again, Republicans, led by the intransigent and shameless Sen. John McCain, filibustered repeal.
By standing in the way of DADT repeal, as a part of the Defense Authorization budget bill, the GOP decided to hold our nation’s security, the recommendations of our top military leaders, the safety of our troops, and support services for our wounded warriors hostage to tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
But here’s the good news: Shortly after the cloture vote failure, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a new stand-alone bill to repeal DADT, giving us a fighting chance to kill it before Congress adjourns. Sen. Collins has been described as the “tip of the spear” in the Republican caucus on repealing DADT and her advocacy could be critical in getting the remaining votes before this session of Congress ends.
We still face the same 60-vote hurdle as before — but there are indications that some Republicans might vote for a stand-alone bill, with Sen. Collins leading the way. That’s why, if you live in Massachusetts, we need you to drop what you’re doing, call Sen. Scott Brown and ask him to vote in favor of the Lieberman/Collins stand-alone bill to repeal DADT before Congress adjourns:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts): 202-224-4543
Speaker Pelosi is ready to pass the Lieberman/Collins bill in the House, once it passes the Senate. Late yesterday she said, “an army of allies stands ready in the House to pass a stand-alone repeal of the discriminatory policy once the Senate acts.”
If, for some reason, a vote does not take place before Congress is scheduled to adjourn next Friday, then Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi need to keep Congress in session. America’s active-duty servicemembers won’t be going home for the holidays — so why should Congress? Leaders stay in the fight until the mission is accomplished.
Thank you for standing up for equality.
Chair, Courage Campaign
P.S. Every day, gay, lesbian and bisexual men and woman in uniform have to lie about who they are in order to serve our country. Please share this message with your friends and help us end this ridiculous policy, so these brave Americans can finally serve openly and with honor.