DADT Compromise Repeal Bill Passes In Senate Armed Services Committee
The vote was 16-12 and now moves to the full Senate. And it wasn't televised, despite the demand made by John McCain earlier today.
The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to let the Pentagon repeal the ban on gay men, lesbians and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, a big step toward dismantling the Clinton-era policy widely known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” as part of the annual defense authorization bill. The House has included a provision for repealing the ban in its version of the defense authorization bill, and a vote on the legislation was possible late Thursday. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted in a closed session, after about an hour of heated debate. The tally was 16 to 12. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she was the only Republican to vote in favor of a repeal. She called the debate “vigorous.” Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the committee, said he believed the full Senate would support the repeal.The debate is continuing at a glacial pace on the House floor at this writing. Here's how the committee voted:
Yes: Carl Levin (Michigan), Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia), Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut), Jack Reed (Rhode Island), Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii), Bill Nelson (Florida), Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Evan Bayh (Indiana), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Mark Udall (Colorado), Kay R. Hagan (North Carolina), Mark Begich (Alaska), Roland W. Burris (Illinois), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Edward E. Kaufman (Delaware), Susan M. Collins (Maine) - only Republican
No: Jim Webb (Virginia) - only Democrat, John McCain (Arizona), James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger F. Wicker (Mississippi), George S. LeMieux (Florida), Scott Brown (Massachusetts) Richard Burr (North Carolina) David Vitter (Louisiana)
The House vote may come at any minute. Watch live here.