Thursday, November 18, 2010

Senate to vote on Don't Ask, Don't Tell in Dec.?

Democratic leaders in the Senate say they will bring the Defense Authorization for 2011, and the repeal
of the ban on gays serving in the military in December. There will be a hearing about a survey taken on
the feelings of troops and their families on serving alongside openly gay members.

The survey taken by DoD and a report from the Department of Defense on how to accomplish the acceptance of gays will probably not satisfy those who oppose making any changes to the "DADT."

Senator John McCain who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who at
one time was in favor of the repeal, now does not believe the proper questions were asked by the Pentagon. He says the questions as posed were about should gays be accepted if the policy is changed, and did not ask if the military members support making the change.

The report he says is more about the mechanics of opening the military to gay members, but does not
cover if such a change would reduce morale or readiness.

Senator Lindsey Graham another member of the Armed Services Committee, and a close ally of
Senator McCain does not believe that opposition to repealing the ban is justified.

Democrats are under the gun and facing pressure to drop the repeal from the 2011 NDAA. The standoff that could arise could prevent passage of the appropriation for the first time since the 1960's.
But following consultations with the White House Democratic leaders say they will not drop the repeal.

Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader says he plans to bring the defense bill for debate, and a vote on the gay ban in the post Thanksgiving session

Senator Carl Levin, chairman on the Armed Services Committee says the bill will not come up for a
vote until after the Pentagon delivers the survey and report, and a hearing is held to discuss these issues. He predicted it will be early December before a hearing will be held.

Senator Levin also said he will continue trying to find support to break a Republican filibuster of the NDAA. Under Senate rules it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, in September they could only garner
56 votes to break the roadblock.

This means we still have some time to continue our post card, email, and phone calls to members of
the Senate Armed Services Committee to keep SEC. 566 to authorize a Cold War Service Medal unchanged in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, S.3454.

Please contact both of your Senators ask them to do two things: become cosponsors of S.2743 The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009, and also contact members of the Armed Services Committee
asking them to keep SEC. 566 of S.3454 intact and vote for approval.

You can find a list of all members of the committee here
When you click on each members name you will be taken to their website where you will be able to
send an email to the Senator.

With your help this could be our best chance to achieve one of our goals, to recognize and honor all
those who served during the Cold War.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996