Sort of. The repeal wouldn’t go into effect immediately; only after the Pentagon completes its review of how to implement the policy and the top dogs sign off on it would the policy be eliminated.
According to one person familiar with the White House meeting, the proposal that is being considered would legislatively repeal the statute this year, but the current policy would remain in place and implementation of repeal would not occur until after the Pentagon’s working group study is finished in December. Further, completion of repeal would require certification from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs chair Adm. Mike Mullen that the new law will not have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, retention, and other key factors affecting the military.
The language would not include a nondiscrimination policy but rather will return authority for open service by gays and lesbians to the Pentagon.
Does that last bit mean that if the Pentagon decides the new policy isn’t working, it can summarily reinstate DADT? That’s a pot sweetener for Republicans insofar as it would give a conservative president authority to change the policy back, although I doubt he/she would have the nerve once it’s gone.
Any guesses as to why the left is eager to do this now instead of waiting until December for the Pentagon to finish its review?
The impetus for the meetings is a push in Congress, which passed the measure under President Bill Clinton, to add a repeal of the policy to the upcoming defense authorization bill.
Repeal “had been on a slow track awaiting completion of a Pentagon study at the end of this year,” reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin. “Gay rights proponents and their Democratic allies on Capitol Hill and in the White House have decided it’s now or not for a very long time since the elections this fall are expected to bring in a more conservative, more Republican Congress.”
The only thing that might stop it at this point is if Carl Levin can’t get 15 votes to attach the repeal to the appropriations bill. CBS says he’s a vote or two short, but several committee members on the fence. And who are those members? On the GOP side, you’ve got Graham, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins, any or all of whom should be ripe for the picking. (McCain, the committee ranking member, will surely vote no to keep Hayworth at bay.) I’m fascinated to see how many Republican votes are going to pop for this in the general floor vote, especially since Gates and Mike Mullen have endorsed repeal and doubly especially since it’s unclear how much tea partiers will care about a social issue as hot-button as this.
A group of military officers from U.S. ally nations told the Brookings Institute last week that they had no trouble integrating gays openly into their armed forces. Expect that talking point to figure prominently if this blows up in a couple of days. Exit question: Is it time?