Some of the chief supporters of repealing the ban on openly gay people
serving in the military are upping their pressure on Congress to scrap
the law this year.
Nine senators will be joined by the nation’s most prominent gay rights organizations on Thursday to make the case that Congress should repeal the Clinton-era law, known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” as part of the massive 2011 defense authorization bill.
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Mark UdallMark UdallLive coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State The rise and possible fall of the ‘Card’ in politics Gardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director MORE (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Roland Burris (D-Ill.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Becerra formally nominated for Calif. attorney general 10 freshmen to watch in the new Congress MORE (D-Calif.), Ron WydenRon WydenSenate Finance panel to hold Price hearing next week Overnight Finance: Price puts stock trading law in spotlight | Lingering questions on Trump biz plan | Sanders, Education pick tangle over college costs Trump Treasury pick gets support from ex-mortgage assistance leader MORE (D-Ore.), Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate panel sets vote on Sessions for AG Obama admin injects another 0M into global climate fund Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes MORE (D-Vt.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinSenate Democrats brace for Trump era Feinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Feinstein: Russia's interference affected outcome of election MORE (D-Calif.), and Al FrankenAl FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing DeVos vows to be advocate for 'great' public schools MORE (D-Minn.) will hold a press conference at the Capitol Visitors Center at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. They will be joined by representatives from the Human Rights Campaign; the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network; Servicemembers United; the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Third Way.
Repeal still faces an uphill battle in Congress because of opposition from key Republicans, including Sen. John McCainJohn McCainThe rise of Carlson, and the fall of Van Susteren Booker to vote against Tillerson Earnest: GOP intellectually dishonest on Manning pardon MORE (Ariz.), who said he would filibuster a defense bill that contains the provision. Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers 'Nuclear option' for Supreme Court nominees will damage Senate McCain's Supreme Court strategy leads to nuclear Senate MORE (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a key supporter of repeal, said that he would hold hearings immediately after the Pentagon releases a report on the implications of repealing the ban. That report is due Dec. 1.
The report and hearings could breathe some life into the efforts to repeal the ban, but much depends on how long Congress will be in session in December and whether there will be enough time to iron out differences on the bill with the House. Also, Republican opposition to including repeal in the defense bill is also not likely to ease up over the next few weeks.