Posted Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, at 5:42 PM
The vote was 250-175 in the House for a standalone bill to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. Among the Republican "aye" votes: Ron Paul, Arizona's Jeff Flake, California's John Campbell, and the departing Charles Djou of Hawaii and Joseph Cao of Louisiana. More Republicans voted for this bill than voted for the Defense Authorization bill that first included language to repeal DADT, and the overall vote then was 229-186.
Does this have any bearing on the Senate's vote? Not exactly. But there should be enough votes in the Senate to pass DADT. The first vote on this, when it was part of the Defense bill, failed when only 56 Democrats and Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted for cloture. The main objection from hold-outs was that the vote was called before the Senate finished voting on the tax cut deal. This time:
- Defeated Sen. Blanche Lincoln, absent for the first vote, will vote this time, and she's an aye.
- Olympia Snowe, who voted "nay" the first time on the grounds that the vote should not have preceded a vote on the tax cut deal, is an aye .
- Scott Brown, who has said he supports repeal, voted "nay" the first time for the same reason as Snowe.
- Lisa Murkowski has said that she intended to support DADT repeal if the Defense vote wasn't rushed. This is a standalone bill, so her objection no longer applies.
So for standalone DADT to fail in the Senate, two of these people need to lie, or fail to show up.