Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) wants the Senate to stay in session until it's passed legislation to do away with the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Lieberman, a key Senate proponent of repealing the military's ban on openly gay or lesbian members, doesn't want the chamber to adjourn until it's acted on a defense authorization bill that contains a provision to do away with the policy.
The senator also appeared to endorse Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart's demand that the Senate stay in session in a tweet on Monday.
Democrats appear to have the 60 votes necessary to overcome any GOP-led filibuster of the defense bill, because some Republicans — like Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsMcCaskill investigating opioid producers GOP senator: House Russia probe 'like following a mystery novel' This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat MORE (Maine) and Scott Brown (Mass.) — have said they support the repeal.
But all 42 GOP senators have vowed to block any legislation from moving forward until the Senate passes an extension of expiring Bush-era tax cuts for all income brackets. Even the Republicans who favor repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" have made clear they won't allow the defense bill to move forward until tax cuts are addressed.
That puts Democrats up against a tight legislative calendar. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAfter healthcare fail, 4 ways to revise conservative playbook Dem senator 'not inclined to filibuster' Gorsuch This obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all MORE (D-Nev.) said on Saturday that he hopes to finish work by Dec. 17 and avoid working up until the Christmas holiday, as the Senate had done last year.
But Democrats face a busy schedule in which they hope to handle other controversial pieces of legislation, such as the DREAM Act. Republicans have meanwhile demanded weeks to debate the defense bill, a timeline that would seem to kick the legislation — and with it, the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" — until next year.
At that point, new senators will have been sworn in, giving the GOP control of 47 seats and making passing a defense bill including a repeal of the policy difficult, if not impossible.