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The Full House and the Senate Armed Service Committee vote for the Defense Authorization Bill with the modified DADT repeal language

In a relief valve move to defuse the issue….

The full House ( 234-194 ) and Senate Armed Services  (16 to 12) committee voted for the Defense Authorization Bill that contained several things including the repeal of the Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell policy….

NOTE

The repeal cannot go in effect until Defense Secretary Gates, Joint Chief Mullen and the President sign off on the study being done by the pentagon on the issue….due around December 1st.….

This provides cover for everyone and time for Gates…..

To get the troops ready ..of fight the bill….

The House left money in for TWO engine manufactures for the F-35 fighter..something Secretary Gates wanted his boss to veto….We’ll see how strongly he wants to mess with Congress on that….

The House may not have ordered more C-17 Cargo planes for now…But don’t be surprised if the money for them finds its way back into the budget…..


Supporters of the repeal hailed it as a matter of basic fairness and civil rights, while opponents charged that Democrats and President Obama were destabilizing the military to advance a liberal social agenda.

“On Memorial Day, America will come together and honor all who served our nation in uniform,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech, noting the symbolic timing of the debate. “I urge my colleagues to vote for the repeal of this discriminatory policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and make America, more American.”

Separately on Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a similar measure allowing the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The vote, in a closed session, was 16 to 12, with one Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, in favor of the repeal, and one Democrat, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, in opposition.

Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the committee, said he believed that the full Senate would support permitting the repeal.

Like the House amendment, the Senate measure would allow Pentagon leaders to revoke the ban 60 days after the military study group completes its report and Mr. Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, certify that it will not hamper military readiness and effectiveness or “unit cohesion.”

Mr. Obama and Mr. Gates favor repealing the ban, as does Admiral Mullen, who, in testimony before the Armed Services Committee in February, called for a repeal.

But chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have objected. In letters solicited by Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, they urged Congress to delay voting on the issue until after the Defense Department completed its report.

After the committee vote, Mr. McCain said he would continue to fight a repeal when the bill reached the Senate floor. “I think it’s really going to be really harmful to the morale and battle effectiveness of our military,” he said.

More……..

NoteI will be posting more in the future on other things in the bill


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May 27, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Boats, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 4 Comments

The Battle over Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell intensifies……

Okay ….To tell ya the truth…I don’t know where the heck this thing is going….

The compromise…..Out right Congressional repleal,…..The GOP trying to keep things status quo….

Things are just that fluid……

The chief backers of repeal, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), another senior member of the panel, would need 15 votes, or a simple majority, to include the legislation in the 2011 defense authorization bill.

According to the latest count by gay-rights activists, who are pressuring panel members to vote for repeal, all Democrats on the committee — except Sen. Jim Webb (Va.) — are expected to support scrapping the ban.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) on Wednesday boosted the chance of passage at the committee level when he announced he would support a deal struck earlier this week between the White House and Lieberman, Levin and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.).

“We are increasingly confident about the Lieberman compromise and that this could very well be a historic week in the United States Congress,” said Marshall Wittmann, Lieberman’s communications director.

The lawmakers and the administration agreed to repeal the policy only after the Pentagon finishes its review of repeal implementation and President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certify that it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.

The gay-rights activists believe 16 Senate Armed Services Committee members, including Lieberman and Levin, will vote in favor of repeal.

They are  counting Democrats Robert Byrd (W. Va.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Roland Burris (Ill.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Ted Kaufman (Del.), and Republican Susan Collins (Maine).

Byrd late Wednesday gave his support to the repeal amendment after Levin and Lieberman agreed to allow Congress to have 60 days to review the implementation policy once certified.

Activists doing their own whip counts expect about 220 votes in favor of the amendment — more than enough to pass it. That figure is expected to include at least two Republicans, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and Charles Djou, the newly elected congressman from Hawaii.

It’s unclear whether the Republican leaders will instruct their conference to vote against the amendment and against the whole defense authorization bill.

More…..

May 27, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

The Battle over Don't Ask…Don't Tell intensifies……

Okay ….To tell ya the truth…I don’t know where the heck this thing is going….

The compromise…..Out right Congressional repleal,…..The GOP trying to keep things status quo….

Things are just that fluid……

The chief backers of repeal, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), another senior member of the panel, would need 15 votes, or a simple majority, to include the legislation in the 2011 defense authorization bill.

According to the latest count by gay-rights activists, who are pressuring panel members to vote for repeal, all Democrats on the committee — except Sen. Jim Webb (Va.) — are expected to support scrapping the ban.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) on Wednesday boosted the chance of passage at the committee level when he announced he would support a deal struck earlier this week between the White House and Lieberman, Levin and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.).

“We are increasingly confident about the Lieberman compromise and that this could very well be a historic week in the United States Congress,” said Marshall Wittmann, Lieberman’s communications director.

The lawmakers and the administration agreed to repeal the policy only after the Pentagon finishes its review of repeal implementation and President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certify that it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.

The gay-rights activists believe 16 Senate Armed Services Committee members, including Lieberman and Levin, will vote in favor of repeal.

They are  counting Democrats Robert Byrd (W. Va.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Roland Burris (Ill.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Ted Kaufman (Del.), and Republican Susan Collins (Maine).

Byrd late Wednesday gave his support to the repeal amendment after Levin and Lieberman agreed to allow Congress to have 60 days to review the implementation policy once certified.

Activists doing their own whip counts expect about 220 votes in favor of the amendment — more than enough to pass it. That figure is expected to include at least two Republicans, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and Charles Djou, the newly elected congressman from Hawaii.

It’s unclear whether the Republican leaders will instruct their conference to vote against the amendment and against the whole defense authorization bill.

More…..

May 27, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Daily Manila……Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell……

So “Don’t ask, don’t tell!” is turning into “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away?”

It is the privy privilege of the Commander-in-Chief to set this policy. Obama wants to point to someone else when the heat gets turned on. Also please note post-election December follows election November so this goes no where if the Congress changes (and it will.)

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Manila @ PoliticalDog, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment

Daily Manila……Don't Ask…Don't Tell……

So “Don’t ask, don’t tell!” is turning into “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away?”

It is the privy privilege of the Commander-in-Chief to set this policy. Obama wants to point to someone else when the heat gets turned on. Also please note post-election December follows election November so this goes no where if the Congress changes (and it will.)

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Manila @ PoliticalDog, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment

Deal on ‘Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell?…….A Repeal…that isn’t really a Repeal…….

Ok….

I’m  a little confused…..

I think it means that the Congress WILL pass a  bill repealing the policy…

But that the Bill doesn’t authorize the change until Gates comes back with a study on the issue from the Military?

WTF does that mean?

What if there isn’t ever a study released?

What if Gates…not the President says no go?

This doesn’t sound like much of a deal…

It sounds like they are deep sixing the issue till late this year…after the November elections?……

The compromise was finalized in meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers will now, within days, vote on amendments that would repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a legislative repeal, White House budget director Peter Orszag wrote Monday that the administration “supports the proposed amendment.”

“Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions,” he wrote.

While gay rights advocates hailed the move as a “dramatic breakthrough,” it remained uncertain whether the deal would secure enough votes to pass both houses of Congress. Republicans have vowed to maintain “don’t ask, don’t tell,” while conservative Democrats have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made it clear that they approved of such a change.

Even if the compromise language passes, a legislative repeal would take effect only after Obama certified that the change would not harm the nation’s military readiness.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the announcement “paves the path to fulfill the President’s call to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year and puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation.”

More……..

Note….Congress and White House have to love this!….A Repeal that ISN’T really a Repeal…..

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 2 Comments

Deal on 'Don't Ask…Don't Tell?…….A Repeal…that isn't really a Repeal…….

Ok….

I’m  a little confused…..

I think it means that the Congress WILL pass a  bill repealing the policy…

But that the Bill doesn’t authorize the change until Gates comes back with a study on the issue from the Military?

WTF does that mean?

What if there isn’t ever a study released?

What if Gates…not the President says no go?

This doesn’t sound like much of a deal…

It sounds like they are deep sixing the issue till late this year…after the November elections?……

The compromise was finalized in meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers will now, within days, vote on amendments that would repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a legislative repeal, White House budget director Peter Orszag wrote Monday that the administration “supports the proposed amendment.”

“Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions,” he wrote.

While gay rights advocates hailed the move as a “dramatic breakthrough,” it remained uncertain whether the deal would secure enough votes to pass both houses of Congress. Republicans have vowed to maintain “don’t ask, don’t tell,” while conservative Democrats have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made it clear that they approved of such a change.

Even if the compromise language passes, a legislative repeal would take effect only after Obama certified that the change would not harm the nation’s military readiness.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the announcement “paves the path to fulfill the President’s call to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year and puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation.”

More……..

Note….Congress and White House have to love this!….A Repeal that ISN’T really a Repeal…..

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell…..This week….Or Gates gets his hold till December?

In another tug of war with Defense Secretary Gates….

Congress has to decide whether it will overrule Gates request to put the policy issue off until December…when Gates gets a policy assessment back…

Or…

Move ahead and attach a repeal of the policy in a Defense spending authorization bill by the end of this week…..

The White House…as in the beginning of the Healthcare battle is mum on the subject….

Stay tuned for more……

The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to vote by the end of the week on an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which Congress passed in 1993. Chairman Carl M. Levin(D-Mich.) favors a repeal, but it is unclear whether he has enough votes, with six senators on the panel considered undecided, legislative sources said.

The House is expected to vote on a similar measure this week, based on a repeal proposal sponsored by Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq war veteran. The House Armed Services Committee declined to act on Murphy’s bill in passing its version of the defense spending measure last week, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told gay advocacy groups that she will allow a floor vote if there is enough support in favor of a repeal.

“This is our ‘all hands on deck’ moment,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gays who have been drummed out of the armed forces. “For repeal to succeed, it is critical that all proponents for full repeal weigh in now, including the White House. We are only a few days away from this historic vote.”

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama called on Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have subsequently told Congress that they support allowing gays to serve openly, raising hopes among advocates who have fought against the law for years.

Since then, however, momentum has stalled, with Congress slow to act amid conflicting signals from the White House on how to proceed.

In his January speech, Obama said he would work with Congress to repeal the law “this year.” But the White House has also lent support to an April 30 letter from Gates and Mullen to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, urging lawmakers not to lift the ban until after the Defense Department has finished a study on how to integrate gays in the military. That study is scheduled to be completed by December.

“They’re not pushing now,” said J. Alexander Nicholson III, executive director of Servicemembers United, an association of gay active-duty troops and veterans. “Every shred of evidence we have about what the White House wants is that they are going to wait until next year.”

Supporters of ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” say they are lining up behind a measure that would repeal the law but not take effect until late next year, after the military finishes its integration study. Some lawmakers had called for a moratorium on the expulsion of gay service members until then, but that effort has fizzled, Nicholson said.

More……..




May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Don't Ask…Don't Tell…..This week….Or Gates gets his hold till December?

In another tug of war with Defense Secretary Gates….

Congress has to decide whether it will overrule Gates request to put the policy issue off until December…when Gates gets a policy assessment back…

Or…

Move ahead and attach a repeal of the policy in a Defense spending authorization bill by the end of this week…..

The White House…as in the beginning of the Healthcare battle is mum on the subject….

Stay tuned for more……

The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to vote by the end of the week on an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which Congress passed in 1993. Chairman Carl M. Levin(D-Mich.) favors a repeal, but it is unclear whether he has enough votes, with six senators on the panel considered undecided, legislative sources said.

The House is expected to vote on a similar measure this week, based on a repeal proposal sponsored by Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq war veteran. The House Armed Services Committee declined to act on Murphy’s bill in passing its version of the defense spending measure last week, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told gay advocacy groups that she will allow a floor vote if there is enough support in favor of a repeal.

“This is our ‘all hands on deck’ moment,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gays who have been drummed out of the armed forces. “For repeal to succeed, it is critical that all proponents for full repeal weigh in now, including the White House. We are only a few days away from this historic vote.”

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama called on Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have subsequently told Congress that they support allowing gays to serve openly, raising hopes among advocates who have fought against the law for years.

Since then, however, momentum has stalled, with Congress slow to act amid conflicting signals from the White House on how to proceed.

In his January speech, Obama said he would work with Congress to repeal the law “this year.” But the White House has also lent support to an April 30 letter from Gates and Mullen to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, urging lawmakers not to lift the ban until after the Defense Department has finished a study on how to integrate gays in the military. That study is scheduled to be completed by December.

“They’re not pushing now,” said J. Alexander Nicholson III, executive director of Servicemembers United, an association of gay active-duty troops and veterans. “Every shred of evidence we have about what the White House wants is that they are going to wait until next year.”

Supporters of ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” say they are lining up behind a measure that would repeal the law but not take effect until late next year, after the military finishes its integration study. Some lawmakers had called for a moratorium on the expulsion of gay service members until then, but that effort has fizzled, Nicholson said.

More……..




May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Veterans rally for the repeal of 'Don't Ask…Don't Tell'….

In a story that seems to be running below the headlines…..

A good amount of veterans around the country are rallying against Secretary Gates footdragging on giving his blessing

For the passgae of recinding the DADT policy Congress put into effect during the Clinton Presidency..

Congress would like to put the change in policy on the next military spending bill that Gates is bitching about……

Ah, Gates actually wants Congress to give him less money for the troops…..personally…

You know benefits and stuff…

I don’t think that’s gonna happen……

Let’s see how the DADT things goes……

Hundreds of veterans on Tuesday will urge lawmakers to repeal this year the ban on openly gay personnel serving in the military.

The approximately 350 veterans from 44 states will lobby lawmakers as the House and Senate Armed Services committees prepare to write the 2011 national defense authorization bill.

Supporters of the repeal, both in Congress and the outside arena, are eyeing the defense authorization bill as the vehicle to carry legislation scrapping the Clinton-era law, known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

In the Senate, the veterans are focusing in particular on six members of the Armed Services panel: Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

The hundreds of veterans lobbying include many from the “key states” that have members on the Armed Services panel, said Michael Cole, the new-media campaign director at Human Rights Campaign, which organized the lobby day along with Servicemembers United and a broad coalition of organizations supporting the repeal.

More than a third of the veterans coming to Capitol Hill hail from Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana and Nebraska. They include gay, straight and lesbian service members.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who co-sponsored the repeal legislation with fellow committee member Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), needs 15 votes on the panel to be able to include the legislation in the bill before it goes to the full Senate. The repeal legislation would be much harder to strip by its opponents once it is on the Senate floor.

One of the hurdles Levin and Lieberman have to overcome is Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ opposition to repealing the ban before the Pentagon finishes its yearlong study on the impact the change would have on the military. That study is expected to be completed by Dec. 1.

The Vets are correct in worrying that the wait till December would all but stop any momentum on the repeal of the policy…..

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Updates, Women | , , | 3 Comments