The Corner

Did Harry Reid Just Kill Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell Repeal?

There were indications yesterday that Majority Leader Reid had struck a bargain with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, in which Collins would provide a critical vote in favor of the Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell repeal, provided Reid allowed a number of Republican amendments to the broader Defense Authorization bill to which the repeal was stapled. 

Collins herself appeared to be under that impression when Reid moved to the Senate floor just minutes ago to announce, in effect, that the deal was off, blaming Senate Republicans — who’d pledged not to consider anything before the tax bill — for tying his hands. Collins then entered a colloquy with Reid, admitting her surprise at the turn of events and asking Reid to explain himself.

 ”I am perplexed and frustrated that this particular bill is going to become a victim of politics,” Collins told Reid through the chair, adding “I am willing to be one of those 60 votes” in favor of DADT. 

“Sen. Lieberman and I have been bargaining in good faith with the Majority Leader,” Collins said of their ongoing talks on DADT. “I think this is so unfortunate.”

But Reid couldn’t be moved. He said some nice things about Collins being “the only person I could talk to” on DADT, but in the end he wouldn’t agree to ceding control of which amendments Republicans could offer to the defense bill.

As I write, the Senate is in roll-coll on cloture. It will surely die, along with any real chance of a legislative repeal.

UPDATE: In a surprising move, Democrat Manchin (W.V.) votes ‘no’; so does Republican Murkowski (Alaska), who has said she supports repeal. Senator Snowe of Maine is also a ‘No’. Collins is not voting. The repeal is dead. 

UPDATE II: Collins AYE. After that whole exchange, she votes in favor of cloture (and by proxy, repeal). 

Collins wasn’t enough. Cloture fails, 57-40. DADT repeal is dead.

UPDATE III: Senator Lieberman of Connecticut has vowed to introduce a standalone repeal measure along with Senator Collins — as early as today. Lieberman tweets that Reid has already promised him to bring it up for a vote before the end of session. 

Meanwhile, Sam Stein quotes a senior Democratic aide regarding Joe Manchin’s “no” vote: “I would say that if he was somehow the 60th vote, I do not think he would have voted the way he did”

The upshot of this latest is that, presuming the tax deal is disposed of, thus freeing Murkowski, Collins, and Brown from the Republican pledge to block anything that stood in its way, there is still a chance for DADT repeal in the lame duck.

President Obama, in a written statement, said that “While today’s vote was disappointing, it must not be the end of our efforts.  I urge the Senate to revisit these important issues during the lame duck session.”

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster has been news editor of National Review Online since 2009, and was a web site editor until 2012. His work has appeared in The American Spectator, The American ...

Most Popular


Holy Week with Saint Paul

Just the other day, I ordered a replacement copy of The Passion of the Christ -- it can be so impactful for Holy Week meditation. In the years since its release, it’s become something of required Lenten viewing for me. But this year, there is a new movie to help with prayer, Paul, Apostle of Christ, released ... Read More

Friday Links

UPS Trucks (Mostly) Don't Turn Left, Saving Them 10 Million Gallons of Gas Per Year. Scientists provide comprehensive breakdown of how much people poo in their lifetime. Famed archaeologist forged murals, inscriptions for decades. How Do You Make Beer in Space? Astronauts return to earth ... Read More

Heckuva Job, Paul and Mitch

As Thursday's editorial makes clear, the omnibus spending bill is a disgrace. That may be why about 40 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Democrats) voted against it. Apart from the absence of a DACA/Dream amnesty, the immigration portions represent a comprehensive victory by the anti-enforcement crowd. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade

If California’s upcoming gubernatorial race gets decided solely by money, Michael Shellenberger doesn’t have a chance. The latest campaign filings show that Shellenberger, an environmentalist from Berkeley, has about $37,000 in cash on hand. The frontrunner in the June 5 California primary, Lieutenant ... Read More

Encouraging Signs in Iraq

Last year, relations between the Iraqi central government and the Kurds reached what was possibly an all-time low when the Kurds held an independence referendum in which 93 percent of voters opted to secede. The timing was no coincidence: Iraqi forces had retreated from Kurdish territory in 2014 as the Islamic ... Read More