Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today promised pop star Lady Gaga, via the Twitter machine, that he will hold a vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell next week.
Reid announced yesterday that the Senate will vote sometime next week on the 2011 defense authorization bill, which includes a provision to repeal DADT.
.@ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so http://bit.ly/9ucdIj #nvsen
The authorization bill, with the repeal provision, passed the House in May.
The Senate version would repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but not until after the military’s policy review is complete in December and President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chair Adm. Mullen sign off.
One provision of the spending bill, completely unrelated to the sexuality of servicemembers, may undermine DADT repeal. Several lawmakers want to see funding for a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet, which the military doesn’t want. President Obama has promised to veto the funding, even if that means vetoing DADT repeal.
So far, the Senate version does not include funding for a second engine for the F-35 but the funding, some $485 million, is in the House version. Whether it stays could determine DADT’s fate.
Gay rights groups have been lobbying hard for Congress to repeal the policy as soon as possible. Gates and Mullen, however, have asked lawmakers not to pass any laws until they’ve completed their review.
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Late update: Lady Gaga responds.
“God Bless and Thank you @HarryReid, from all of us, like u, who believe in equality and the dream of this country. We were #BORNTHISWAY,” she tweeted.