Clarifying his remarks yesterday that many thought played "hot potato" on Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell repeal with the White House, Senate Majority Leader took an opportunity to clarify his remarks in a statement to ThinkProgress.
While we do not have a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell bill introduced in the Senate yet, a number of Senators are working on an approach to get it repealed. We would welcome a legislative proposal from the White House on repeal so as to provide clear guidance on what the President would like to see and when. Working together, I believe we can find the time to get repeal done in this Congress.
Because of the prevailing bipartisanship religion on Capitol Hill, the bill "requires" an apparently elusive GOP sponsor. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have not stepped up, and no neanderthal GOP will break ranks (or expose his personal foibles). I suppose if Arlen Spectre was still a Republican, he might be prevailed upon to sponsor DADT repeal, but that ship has sailed. Lindsay Graham, as a Reserve JAG Officer, would be a wonderful candidate to co-sponsor DADT repeal. Has he been asked, one wonders? Or does his military service present a conflict?
UPDATE: The Advocate and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network focus on the "this Congress" aspect of Harry Reid’s statement:
Reid’s comments are the first intimations from Congressional leadership on a time frame for accomplishing repeal, and are in line with those made earlier this year by Rep. Barney Frank.
"I believe we should and will do ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ next year," Frank told Roll Call in April. "We haven’t done the preliminary work, the preparatory work. It would be a mistake to bring it up without a lot of lobbying and a lot of conversation."
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that lobbies for repeal of the military’s gay ban, embraced Majority Leader Reid’s statement.
"This clarification on DADT repeal from the Senator Majority Leader is most welcomed," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the organization. "SLDN has had positive, ongoing DADT meetings with the Senate leader’s staff for several months, and I know from conversations he is committed to repeal of this discriminatory law.