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Defense Budget Goes To Congress Without Don’t Ask Repeal Language In It

05/16/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
The White House has sent their Defense Budget down to Capital Hill and it is missing one key provision which will make it that much harder to get this particular provision passed since it must now be voted into the bill by committee. The White House Defense Budget is missing a provision regarding the Military Readiness Enhancement Act which would repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. By not including language which would signal the President’s support for the measure, it may become more difficult to get the votes in either the House or Senate to place that language into the bill at a later date.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network had this to say:

“It is now becoming painfully clear that the President will not include the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in his defense budget transmittals to Congress. This is his second defense bill without a call for repeal. But there is still an opportunity for the President to engage, and we hope he will seize it soon. We urgently need his help in reconciling the differences between the Pentagon and the Hill on the repeal timeline, and he can also begin asking Members of Congress to vote for repeal this year.”

Hope is not lost, of course, but it will be up to the lobbyists within the LGBT Community to pressure the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to put the language into the bill as an amendment. It is something that they have already discussed and may even occur in the near future if they can muster enough votes. Certainly Representative Patrick Murphy and Senator Joseph Lieberman are busy trying to make this happen.

The SLDN has been highlighting the need for repeal of DADT with letters written by former and current members of the military effected by this unjust law.

In his first State of the Union Speech, President Obama stated “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.”

If it is the right thing to do, why is he not doing it? That is the question on the minds of many lesbians and gays looking at the possibility of a Republican Congress which will effectively kill any hope of getting DADT repealed any time soon.

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