Bill to delay repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ introduced in House
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/soldier_thumb.jpgThe repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the U.S. military’s policy of banning openly gay servicemembers, was signed into law late last year. Nevertheless, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has already introduced a bill that would require the signature of chiefs of the four branches of the military to sign off on the repeal as well.
Hunter, a Marine combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is calling the legislation the Restore Military Readiness Act.
“The idea behind the Restore Military Readiness Act is not necessarily to prevent the implementation of the DADT repeal, but rather to ensure that military readiness and combat effectiveness are not adversely impacted,” Hunter said in a statement.
“Given that the service chiefs carry most of the day-to-day responsibilities for each service branch, their independent certification is just as important and equally necessary.”
The current law requires the president, the secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sign off on the repeal.
A new Government Accountability Office report says the military spent over $193 million between 2004 and 2009 to replace around 3,660 troops. A Palm Center study in 2006 reported $363.8 million was spent by the military in the policy’s first ten years.
It’s worth noting that though Gen. James Amos — a Marine Corps Commandant — opposed the repeal, he said he would implement it anyway if Congress passed a law.
Cosponsors of the legislation include:
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6]
Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50]
Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3]
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11]
Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4]
Rep Fleming, John [LA-4]
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2]
Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18]
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11]
Rep Huelskamp, Tim [KS-1]
Rep Kline, John [MN-2]
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5]
Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9]
Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16]
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1]
Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2]
Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3]
Rep West, Allen B. [FL-22]
*Update, 4:51 p.m. EST: * The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national, legal services and policy organization committed to repealing DADT, released a statement today about the new GAO report.
“Today’s GAO report underscores that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law not only deprives the military of the qualified Americans it needs, but has also been a huge waste of taxpayer dollars on replacing patriots lost under this discriminatory law,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “These numbers remind us why it’s time to move forward on certification so we can begin implementing repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and make a smooth transition to open service.”