Lieberman plans standalone repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell'

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday he'll introduce a free-standing bill to repeal the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Lieberman said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to bring legislation to the floor to do away with the military's prohibition on openly gay and lesbian service members.

The Connecticut independent said he would introduce the legislation as soon as today with language that mirrors an amendment to the defense authorization bill.

Senators failed to begin debate on that defense bill in a vote Thursday afternoon, and even some Republicans who favor repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" voted to sustain a filibuster.  

"The bipartisan proposal from Senators Lieberman and Collins provides renewed hope that progress is still possible in the Senate; an army of allies stands ready in the House to pass a standalone repeal of the discriminatory policy once the Senate acts," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Thursday hoping for the Lieberman proposal to come to pass.

Updated 7:50 p.m.