By Sam Youngman - 09/21/10 07:58 PM EDT
The White House reacted with disappointment and frustration Tuesday to the Senate's failure to move to debate on the defense authorization bill which contains the DREAM Act and a repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT).
But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs rejected the suggestion that DADT will not be repealed after Republicans successfully blocked the measure, saying "We'll keep trying."
With the inclusion of the DADT repeal, the authorization bill has taken on new significance for Democrats and liberal allies of the Obama White House.
Gibbs repeated Tuesday that Obama has long thought the ban on gays in the military is unfair, and the spokesman said the president will continue to work with the Senate and the Pentagon to bring the repeal to fruition.
"I don't think this is the end," Gibbs said.
Gibbs lamented the Republican filibuster that stopped the measure, saying that "60 is the new 50, and I don't mean age."
But when asked if he thought Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should open debate to win the support of Republican Sen. Susan Collins, Gibbs said that doing so would only create a "grab bag of ideas" that are better suited for another time.