Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office (R-AK) confirms to TPM that she will vote to break a filibuster on a standalone Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal bill, even though it will come up before legislation to fund the government. The entire Republican caucus had promised not to vote for anything before tax cuts and spending bills but, after the omnibus spending bill was pulled last night, it appears enough Republicans will break that promise.
Murkowski’s commitment means the Senate still has 60 votes to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — even though the bill will come up before the Senate votes on spending measures. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has also confirmed that he will vote for the standalone bill.“Senator Brown will vote for a clean repeal bill when it comes up for a vote,” his spokeswoman told Greg Sargent.
Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will vote on the bill on Saturday.
Murkowski, Brown and other Republican senators had expressed their support for repeal but warned that they wouldn’t vote for it before the tax cuts and spending bills. The Senate has now passed the tax cut deal, but an omnibus spending bill was pulled yesterday from lack of support.
It’s still unclear whether Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) will vote for repeal, but it seems like the Senate already has the magic number to break an expected filibuster and repeal DADT.