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Cmte appears to have votes on DADT

From NBC's Ken Strickland
The Senate Armed Services Committee will vote on an amendment to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in a closed session today. It appears supporters of repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving opening in the military have the votes to prevail.

A spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), an amendment's primary sponsor, said late yesterday, "We are increasingly confident about the Lieberman compromise and that this could very well be a historic week in the United States Congress."

(The full House could vote on the same measure as early as today)

West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was the most recent uncommitted Democrat to indicate his willingness to support the measure. Byrd said he worked with the administration and the proponents of the amendment to delay the repeal for 60 days after a Pentagon review and determination of the proposed policy and regulation changes.

"This period of time will allow the Congress, along with the American people, to thoroughly review the proposed policy recommendations to ensure that these changes are consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention for our Armed Forces," Byrd said in a written statement late Wednesday.

The Senate committee vote won't happen until the afternoon -- maybe late in the afternoon, according to an aide with the panel.