Last May, the House overwhelmingly passed an amendment by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2011 (HR 5136) to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and has been waiting for the Senate to act. Last week, the Senate failed to move forward on the Defense Authorization bill with the repeal language and as a result, Senators Lieberman and Collins introduced standalone bipartisan legislation to repeal the policy. On the news of a standalone effort last week, Speaker Pelosi responded, “an army of allies stands ready in the House to pass a standalone repeal of the discriminatory policy.”
Today, Rep. Patrick Murphy introduced a standalone bill (H.R. 6520) providing for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy saying:
The time to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has come. Already, two dozen other nations, including Israel and Great Britain, allow their troops to serve openly with no detriment to unit cohesion. As an Army veteran of the Iraq War, I’m insulted by those who claim that our troops are somehow less professional or mission-capable than the troops of these foreign nations. I’m proud to stand with the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the majority of servicemembers and the American public who all support repeal of this discriminatory policy that harms our national security and military readiness.
Leader Hoyer joined the bill as the lead co-sponsor:
As Secretary Gates and others have stressed, it is critical that Congress pass this legislation, empowering the Defense Department to implement repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ itself, rather than have repeal imposed by the Courts. I look forward to bringing this bill to the House floor soon, and I hope the Senate will swiftly take action as well so that the bill can be signed into law as soon as possible. This discriminatory and harmful policy has weakened America’s security by depriving us of the work of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably. And it has severely compromised our Armed Forces’ core value of integrity.
Speaker Pelosi announced the House will vote on the bill tomorrow: