NY Senator withdraws moratorium on DADT, not enough votes

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NY Senator Kirsten GillibrandSenator Kirsten Gillibrand has withdrawn a proposed amendment that would have placed an 18-month moratorium on discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She simply didn’t have enough votes.

Matt Canter, a Gillibrand spokesperson, told the Blade on Wednesday that the senator determined there weren’t 60 votes available for a vote of cloture on the amendment.

“She was working for about a week to assess support among her colleagues for the measure,” he said. “It does not appear that we’re going to have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. So she’s not going to pursue the moratorium amendment at this time.”

Canter said Gillibrand is working with senators “to continue to highlight the issue and move forward on the issue.”

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) is slated to introduce a bill for full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Senate. In the House, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) took over as lead sponsor of repeal legislation earlier this month.

Canter said Gillibrand will continue to back Kennedy and Murphy’s efforts to build support for repeal legislation.

While unfortunate, the withdrawal is not completely surprising. The proposed amendment was last minute, and comes at a time when the Senate has been focused on healthcare reform, the DoD authorization bill, and mermaids. Seriously, it had better not been the last one.

Post by ILO on 07/23/09 at 12:55 pm