Senator Collins’ DADT Ultimatum

by Matthew Shaffer

With Sen. Scott Brown now favoring the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, plus all 58 Democratic Senators, pro-repeal forces need only one more vote to end debate, and move forward with the broader Pentagon spending bill that would wipe the controversial law out, effecting one of Obama’s campaign promises. And many are speculating that the one vote could come from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), as early as tonight. But she’s issued Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an ultimatum. TPM has the scoop


Here’s what Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that she needs to support a full Senate debate on the defense authorization bill (the vehicle for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal): 15 guaranteed votes on amendments (10 for Republicans, and 5 for Democrats), and somewhere around four days to debate the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already promised her the 15 amendments, but his initial offer was for a day or two of debate. Here’s her response to reporters tonight, after a Senate vote.

“The majority leader’s allotment of time for to debate those amendments was extremely short, so I have suggested doubling the amount of time, assuring that there would be votes, and making sure that the Republicans get to pick our own amendments as opposed to the Majority Leader.”

“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” she added.

Late this evening, per Collins’ request, Reid delayed a test vote he’d planned to hold tonight.

“Everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first,” Collins said…

Keep in mind that this would cement her support for debating the bill. Presumably she’ll withhold endorsing the actual legislation until after that debate is over.

The Corner

The one and only.