The Senate has enough votes to pass a standalone repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has been told by Senate counterparts, he said in an interview with HuffPost Wednesday evening after the House approved its own version of the bill.
Hoyer said that he’s been working closely with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the leading reform advocates in the Senate, and that he suggested last week to Lieberman that the House move first.
“Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins determined that they would introduce a bill,” said Hoyer. “I called and talked to a number of people. I then called Senator Lieberman and said ‘Joe, my intent will be to talk to Congressman Murphy’ — who’s the sponsor of the amendment that was adopted in the defense bill — ‘and put this in as a free standing bill, because we can probably send it over to you more quickly than you can send to us.’ And he agreed and we introduced exactly the same bill that they have in the Senate.”