[ Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe complained Monday that Republicans were being shut out of the debate. | AP Photos ]
The Democrats have added two amendments to that bill for legislation they want….
‘Don’t Ask….Don’t Tell” …which would allow gays to serve openly in the military ……
The Dream Act …..which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors and later enrolled in college or the military…..
In order to get the 60 votes needed to Past the original base bill….
The Defense Authorization bill……WITH thesed amendments…..
They will have to get several moderate Republicans to vote with them…
This is right before the November 2nd elections and in the face of the GOP campaign to deny the Democrats ANY substantive legislation…
Which is why Democrats attached the Bills to the Defense money authorization…
Backers of the bill held out slightly more hope for the measure Monday than late last week, when many viewed the legislation as a lost cause — but Democrats made clear they didn’t know how the vote would turn out.
“I don’t know whether we have the votes or not,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan told reporters. “I haven’t done a whip check. I just don’t know if the votes are there.”
The stakes for the Democrats are high, with key provisions on the table for two important constituencies ahead of midterm elections, in which they’re already in danger of losing the House and conceivably even the Senate.
Even before the vote, gay rights activists, in particular, made it clear that there would be recriminations against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama if the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal doesn’t go forward — a pledge Obama made throughout his 2008 campaign. And immigration-rights activists say they’re watching how both parties handle Tuesday’s vote as well.
“This is kind of like the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Democrats and Republicans are all kind of at the fence trying to figure out who’s going to shoot first,” said Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum. His group supports efforts by Reid to use the bill as a vehicle to pass the DREAM Act, a measure that would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors and later enrolled in college or the military.
On the surface, the dispute Monday centered less on the substance of the bill and more on a procedural question about how many amendments Republicans would be able to offer to the massive defense spending bill.
Two key senators thought to be open to repealing the ban on openly gay soldiers serving in the military — Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe — complained Monday that Republicans were being shut out of the debate.Share on Facebook