As we’ve noted this morning, there are now 61 senators pledged to vote for the stand-alone DADT bill the House passed yesterday. That’s one more than necessary to break the Republican filibuster. And if they pass it, DADT is history.
But, here’s the but … there’s not much time left to schedule a vote. Yes, that might sound weird that it’s going to come down to maybe not having the time. But that’s where it is. Basically they have to finish debate and voting for the spending bill and then see if they have time to hold a vote on DADT. And Sen. Murkowski has hinted that she may only be willing to vote after the spending bill is done with. And there’s not just DADT. There’s also the START Treaty, and a few other things. And remember, too, the Republicans who want to defeat DADT have tons of incentive to simply run out the clock. Last night, Sen. Reid said we’ll hold a vote on DADT if the Republicans don’t run out the clock.
One thing, of course, to keep in mind is that it has to be in this Congress, not the next Congress. Once the new Congress is sworn in, the bill the House just passed becomes a dead letter.