A repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell?” Don’t bet on it.
The window for action on reversing the ban on gays in the military is quickly closing, and the path to undoing the 17-year-old law is riddled with roadblocks: a crowded lame-duck calendar, Democratic defectors, and emboldened Republican senators who have no desire to hand a legislative victory to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
If Democrats fail to pass the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” next month — before Republicans take control of the House in January — it could be years before they get another shot.
“Unless Democrats completely neglect the tax-hike issue and everything else they’ve been talking about lately, like the DREAM Act, the START treaty and controversial nominees, they won’t be able to finish it,” said one senior Senate GOP aide.
The repeal of “don’t ask” has been attached to the defense authorization bill, and Senate Republicans have already blocked the bill once before over this issue.
DADT, the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), the START treaty, the Paycheck Fairness act, retroactive immunity for mortgage fraud, the extension of Bush tax cuts for the rich and the Catfood Commission report are all on the table of the 111th Congress.
This Congress has been in session for almost two years and several of the items before them have been languishing the entire time. START has been waiting a Senate vote since last Spring and the only thing of recent development is the discovery of massive mortgage fraud.
So why with less than two months left to go are all these items suddenly urgent?
I can’t recall any prior lame-duck session with such a full agenda of important legislation. Some of these items might have helped the Democrats energize their base for the election earlier this month. Yeah, those bills might have helped some GOPers too, but it wasn’t like the Democrats were expecting to gain seats on November 2nd.
If they couldn’t pass them before, what makes them think they can pass them now?
Maybe it’s just my Reynold’s Wrap beanie, but I get the feeling the Democrats aren’t being fully honest with us. Either that or they’re not playing with a full deck.