Yesterday I was chatting with a House aide about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell legislative repeal. Before I could ask about inflection points for passage in a
Yesterday I was chatting with a House aide about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislative repeal. Before I could ask about inflection points for passage in a House vote that could come as early as this evening, the aide waived me off his entire chamber. Don’t even bother with the House, the aide told me. The big question for is whether the Senate Armed Services Committee can approve the repeal.
And it just did. The vote was 16 to 12, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joining 15 Democrats in voting to attach an amendment to repeal the military’s ban on open gay service to the fiscal 2011 defense authorization.
LGBT activists have waited for this day for 17 years. A sample reaction from the press releases flooding my inbox:
“The importance of this vote cannot be overstated – this is the beginning of the end of a shameful ban on open service by lesbian and gay troops that has weakened our national security,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The stars are aligning to finally restore honor and integrity to those who serve our country so selflessly.”
“This initial victory today in the Senate Armed Services Committee is an historic first step forward in the drive to finally get the onerous ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law off the books forever,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “All of us who have served under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and who have been impacted by this law will remember this day as the beginning of the end for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
From Chris Anders of the ACLU:
“For years, without being able to live openly, gay and lesbian service members have been fighting and dying for their country alongside straight soldiers. Our men and women in uniform deserve to be treated fairly, honestly and with dignity. We applaud the committee for including this provision and urge the House to pass its amendment as well. We cannot dare lose momentum now.”
A House vote on attaching a similar amendment will come possibly as early as tonight. But Senate Republicans tell TPM’s Brian Beutler that they’ll do anything to stop the Senate bill when it goes to the floor.
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
Army Data Shows Constraints on Troop Increase Potential
If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.