Reactions to the failure in the Senate on DADT

Servicemembers United:

“This was a major failure on the part of the Senate to simply do its job and pass an annual defense authorization bill. Politics prevailed over responsibility today, and now more than one million American servicemembers, including tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops, are worse off as a result,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “Since the votes are there in isolation, the Senate should still consider a stand-alone bill to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law before adjourning for the winter holidays.”


“Today a band of Senators voted to continue the discrimination against gay and lesbian service members who are fighting and dying for our country. This continued delay is an outrage against these service members and the more than 14,000 who have already lost their jobs under this discriminatory law. History will hold these senators accountable and so will many of their constituents. There will be no place for these Senators to hide. The Senate and the President must remain in session and in Washington to find another path for repeal to get done in the lame-duck. While difficult, realistic options still exist for advocates and Senators to move repeal this year. We need to keep pushing as the Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation. We implore all who support repeal to join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, ‘If not now, when?’, said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Senator Mark Udall:

“Today, my Republican colleagues filibustered a pay increase for our troops at a time when our country is losing jobs and military families across the country are struggling to get by. They blocked provisions that are critical to defending our nation and keeping our service members safe. In fact, this will be the first time in 49 years that defense authorization legislation has not passed into law – all because Republicans object to repealing an outdated policy that is harming our ability to retain and recruit qualified service members while we’re at war,” Udall said.

“If my colleagues were serious about resolving our differences over this bill, they would have allowed us to begin debate,” Udall continued. “Instead, we’re gridlocked over politics at the expense of our troops and our national security. The American people – and our service members – want us to lead. Obstructing debate is not leadership.”

“At a time when we’re fighting two wars, we need every skilled service member we have – airmen, mechanics, translators, and others,” Senator Udall continued. “The Pentagon’s top leaders, the President, and a majority of the American people support repeal. We owed it to our troops to at least debate the issue.”

Ashwin Madia, Interim Chairman of

“By voting to filibuster the Defense Authorization Act, today, a minority of Senators have betrayed our troops. Leaving aside ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ this bill is crucial to our military readiness, and funding our troops in harm’s way. The minority of Senators can talk all they want about a tax bill needing consideration, but there is absolutely no reason why the Senate couldn’t pass this and then a tax bill before leaving for recess. In fact, that has been the plan.

“The only thing we can surmise is that the Senate minority puts politics above our national defense. They just had a chance to vote for a tax cut, and voted no, instead demanding a tax bill that gives additional tax breaks to the wealthiest in America. Now, they are holding the men and women in uniform hostage, to get that bill for the ultra-rich. It’s wrong, and it’s disgusting.”

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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