At the end of the today’s hearings on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he will still block the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes a repeal of the policy.
“I will not agree to have this bill go forward,” he said. “Because our economy is in the tank.”
At today’s hearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which McCain is ranking member, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said they were split on whether DADT should be repealed, but all reported that their forces would be willing and able to implement repeal if so directed by Congress.
McCain has said in the past that he would support repeal if the top military brass supported it. But over the year, as the debate heated up, McCain has become one of the most vocal opponent of repeal in the Congress.
Today he declared he wants to have more hearings on repeal, saying that he needs to hear from the theater commanders and other leaders below the Joint Chiefs. There were 13 hearings when DADT was first implemented in 1993, he said, and repeal should have an equal level of examination.
“I would be more than eager, in the coming year, to have additional hearings, as they had some 13 hearings when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was enacted. And I look forward to joining with … members of this committee next year and examining all the ramifications of it,” he said.