Reid Delays DADT Vote, Can't Sway Susan Collins

Measure to repeal ban on gays in military is in limbo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2010 8:15 PM CST
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talks with the media as she gets in the elevator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – A proposal by Senate Democrats to repeal the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops stalled today after a key Republican refused to sign on and Democrats feared a critical test vote would fail. Harry Reid continued to talk with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine about how he could win her support, which is considered critical to the monthslong effort by Democrats to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. "We're getting close, but negotiations are still ongoing," said a Reid spokesman.

A provision that would overturn DADT is included in a broader defense policy bill. Collins supports overturning the military ban but has sided with her GOP colleagues in objecting to the defense bill on procedural grounds. She wants more time devoted to debate and says the Senate should consider tax cuts first. (See Talking Points Memo for details on her demands.) Reid said Republicans were running out of excuses to block the bill. "Throwing up these artificial roadblocks is just foolishness," he said.

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