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Congress: Obama backs DADT deal

"President Obama has endorsed a 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department, the White House announced Monday, an agreement that may sidestep a key obstacle to repealing the military's policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces," the Washington Post front-pages. "The compromise was finalized in meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers will now, within days, vote on amendments that would repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1." 

The New York Times adds, "It was not clear whether the deal had secured the votes necessary to pass the House and Senate, but the agreement removed the Pentagon's objections to having Congress vote quickly on repealing the contentious 17-year-old policy, which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed services... [E]ven if the measure passes, the policy cannot not change until after Dec. 1, when the Pentagon completes a review of its readiness to deal with the changes. Mr. Obama, his defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff would also be required to certify that repeal would not harm readiness."   

The Times also writes that even after his successful shepherding of the Senate financial reform legislation through the Senate, Chris Dodd still isn't that popular back at home. "Given the yin-and-yang dynamic that governs today's political landscape, Mr. Dodd offers a basic object lesson: the more entrenched someone is in Washington, the less popular he is at home. That lesson applies to a growing number of incumbents on Capitol Hill -- the latest being Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who was defeated in a Democratic primary last Tuesday. ("We came in the same day," Mr. Dodd said with some wistfulness.)"