Here’s the latest on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell vote, per Servicemembers United Executive Director Alex Nicholson (a former Columbia resident):
Tomorrow [Tuesday, September 21] the Senate will vote at 2:15 p.m. on cloture for the motion to proceed to debate on NDAA. All that means is that we need 60 votes tomorrow to move forward. The good news is that we had the 60 votes lined up (a few more than 60, in fact) and we were ready to move forward as NDAA normally does. The bad news is that Senator Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, just changed the terms of the debate to slight even the moderate Republicans who were lined up to vote with us to break the filibuster.
So now, this is where we are… either Senator Reid needs to change his mind and let at least some Republicans have an amendment or two of their own, or one or two Republicans need to vote to break the filibuster without the ability to offer any of their own amendments to other areas of NDAA.
So there are two things you can do:
1. You can call Senator Reid’s office and tell him to return to the original terms of amendments and debate for NDAA (the original terms that had us the 60 votes locked down).
2. You can call the 5 Republicans who were either going to or likely to vote to break the filibuster under the original terms of debate for NDAA (Susan Collins, Dick Lugar, George Voinovich, Olympia Snowe, and Scott Brown) and ask them to vote to break the filibuster anyway.
My suggestion is that we all do BOTH! No one can be let off the hook here. Please call these senate offices today and tomorrow.
The Blade (of Washington) has provided contact information for the legislators mentioned:
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Senate Majority Leader (202) 224-3542
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (202) 224-2523
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) (202) 224-4814
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) (202) 224-3353
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) (202) 224-5344
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) (202) 224-4543