Sep 21, 2010 3:17 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans have blocked an effort to
repeal the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.
The partisan vote was a defeat for gay rights groups who saw the
provision in a defense authorization bill as their last chance any
time soon to overturn the law known as "don't ask, don't tell."
Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the
legislation, which authorized $726 billion in defense spending. The
vote was 56-43.
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins had been seen as the crucial
60th vote because she supports overturning the military ban. But
Collins sided with her GOP colleagues in arguing that Republicans
weren't given sufficient leeway to offer amendments to the
wide-ranging policy bill.
The vote fell mostly along party lines, although Arkansas
Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor sided with
Republicans to block the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against
the measure as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, casting his
vote with the majority of the Senate enables him to revive the bill
at a later date.