Murkowski Votes Against Defense Bill Ending ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Senate Democrats failed Thursday to move forward on a defense bill that included ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  Republicans shot down a procedural vote on the Defense Authorization bill, making slimmer the chances of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this year.  Senator Lisa Murkowski was being watched as a crucial vote – but she stuck with her party.

Only GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine voted to bring the bill to the floor.

Murkowski said Wednesday she wants to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” but she wanted to see many days of debate and discussion on the floor.  She says Democrats were not willing to allow for enough time and were rushing it through, so she voted no.

Senator Mark Begich voted with all other Democrats except for West Virginia’s Joe Manchin to move forward on the Defense Bill.  The final vote was 57 to 40, three votes short of the needed 60.

President Obama weighed in this evening in a statement, saying he was “extremely disappointed,” and calling to task Republicans who he said were a minority quote, “standing in the way of the funding upon which our troops, veterans and military families depend.”

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