The Senate saw some key votes today as Senate Democrats conceded they didn’t have the necessary votes to pass the DREAM Act, and tabled it until after the tax hike debate is completed. Harry Reid will try next week to push through the House version that narrowly passed yesterday, but finding 60 Senators will remain a difficult task. Opponents are hoping that other items will take up the remaining time in the Senate legislative calendar, but Reid seems so committed to ramming this through that I have no doubt another vote will be held on this.
In addition, Harry Reid introduced a bill repealing the military’s policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell regarding gays in the military. It was soundly defeated by a 57-40 margin, but Joe Lieberman says he’ll introduce another standalone bill to repeal DADT. I personally don’t care too strongly about this one way or the other, and there’s no doubt that this isn’t as controversial a topic as it was back in the 90’s. Gays have a right to serve their country, too, but at the same time military leaders have a responsibility to think about how it affects all soldiers within the context of military culture – though many have recently come out in support of a repeal of DADT.
One interesting sidebar – Sen. Susan Collins was made to look like a fool on the DADT vote. She was negotiating with Reid for her vote on a firm four-day debate period. It looks like Reid cut off negotiating and put it to the floor anyway, so in response, Susan Collins … votes for the bill anyway. Way to play hardball there, Susan! DrewM over at Ace of Spades said it best:
Wow, Collins votes Aye. Reid tells her to go to hell and she says, “Thank you for that informative suggestion, I will do just that!”
If you want to know why so many throw up their hands in exasperation at those rascally maverick “moderates”, it’s ’cause of slick moves like this.