Defense Authorization Blll Hits Roadblock in Senate

Defense Authorization Blll Hits Roadblock in Senate

Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) wants to bring the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill to the floor of the Senate when the Senate returns from its August break, but SASC ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) strenuously objected yesterday.

Sen. Levin was attempting to get a unanimous consent (UC) agreement to bring the bill to the floor in September, but Sen. McCain blocked the UC because he opposes some of the bill’s provisions, especially repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. Sen. McCain wants to wait on that issue until a promised survey is done of the morale of men and women in the military on that issue. He argues that the Democrats are trying to push a “social agenda on legislation … intended to ensure the nation’s security.” Sen. Levin replied that the issue should be debated on the Senate floor and the committee’s bill requires that the survey be done.

The video of the exchange is available on YouTube.

The Senate has a full agenda when it returns in September and is expected to be in session for only three weeks before adjourning again so Senators can prepare for the mid-term elections.

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