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June 06, 2011

Barney Frank sends letter to President: 'Threaten defense bill veto if DADT repeal is undermined'

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And Rep. Frank is joined by Representatives Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis and David Cicilline. From Congressman Frank’s communications office (via email):

Congressman Barney Frank today released a letter addressed to President Obama, requesting that he formally threaten to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it contains language that could undermine the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Frank was joined in his appeal to the President by Representatives Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis and David Cicilline.

After the successful repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law last year, House Republicans in the 112th Congress have refrained from mounting a direct attempt to reinstate the law.  However, House Republicans successfully inserted language into the Defense Authorization bill – “must pass” legislation — that would make repeal very difficult in practice.

In his statement of administration policy on the Defense Authorization bill, President Obama expressed his opposition to the Republican provisions that would effectively block repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  However, the President stopped short of specifically stating that he would veto the final bill when it is passed by both the House and Senate if that bill includes the current House language.

In the conclusion of their letter to the President, Representatives Frank, Baldwin, Polis and Cicilline write:

“But because this issue is so important in so many ways, we think it would be the best course for you to reaffirm your strong support of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by making it explicit that you would veto a bill in the unlikely event that it came to you, which undermined the decision that you led us to make last year – namely a military that does not discriminate unfairly and does not turn away patriotic, productive Americans seeking to serve their country.”

I put the letter up on Scribd:


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