In a major breakthrough just in time to energize the Democratic voter base for the fall, the White House has given its blessing to a compromise repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. The measure, which could face a vote this week, would allow the Pentagon to move forward with its review of the best way to end the Clinton-era policy.
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The change would come in the form of an amendment to the defense spending measure, a process which the White House's Office of Management and Budget said late last night it will support. The Pentagon also backs using this method while it completes the review, OMB Director Peter Orszag said in a letter to Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is working on the issue on the Senate side. Orszag said the amendment would allow for "comprehensive review, enable the Department of Defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure that the implementation of the repeal is consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention." Democrats on the Hill accepted the compromise last night.