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Congress: House repeals DADT

By a 234-194 vote last night, the House of Representatives repealed the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The New York Times: "It was adopted as an amendment to the annual Pentagon policy bill, which the House is expected to vote on Friday. The repeal would be allowed 60 days after a Pentagon report is completed on the ramifications of allowing openly gay service members, and military leaders certify that it would not be disruptive. The report is due by Dec. 1."    

The Senate Armed Service Committee, by a 16-12, approved a similar amendment repealing DADT.

President Obama released this statement last night: "I am pleased that both the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee took important bipartisan steps toward repeal tonight… Our military is made up of the best and bravest men and women in our nation, and my greatest honor is leading them as Commander-in-Chief. This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity."

"The votes," the Washington Post says, "came after fierce debates on both sides of the Capitol. 'We're saying, "We're shoving this down your throat, we don't care,"' said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), arguing that Congress should have waited to hear from the military before taking action. He added, 'The military is not a social experiment.'"

"But Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), one of the few openly gay members of Congress, blasted defenders of 'don't ask, don't tell' and said that such restrictions don't exist in other militaries. 'Those who tell me that the presence of gay and lesbian members of the military undermine the effectiveness of a fighting force and undermine unit cohesion must have never heard of Israel,' he said." 

"House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday his decision to ask former Rep. Mark Souder to resign is an example of his philosophy that Members must be held to a high standard of ethical behavior and can be punished even without breaking a law or House rule," Roll Call writes. "The Ohio Republican told Roll Call that he has spoken to several Members over the last year and a half who, he believed, had done something or came close to doing something unethical."

Here's a good use of time... "House Republican leaders introduced a bill Thursday to repeal and replace the sweeping healthcare law adopted in late March. According to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the measure would repeal the current law and replace it with the alternative the minority party offered to the original healthcare legislation last November."