FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sen. McCain Protested, Speaks Out This A.M. Against Everything Related To How Senate Considering Defense Authorization - And, Pointedly, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

It has been a busy day (so far) for Sen. John McCain in Washington.  First, he spoke - and was protested - at the Armed Services Committee hearing (about Korea).  The silent protest was trying to persuade him to not block the eventual repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" ("DADT") policy regarding homosexuals' service in the military.

Protesters held up signs with messages such as "Senate McCain, repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. It's not too late to change your legacy."  And, apparently, at some point, the protesters interrupted McCain's remarks about Korea.

McCain then went to the floor to rail on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the handling of the Defense Authorization bill.  (The full prepared text of his comments can be found here.)  He again decried the attaching of non-defense-related bills (he protested last year when hate crimes legislation was attached).  He stressed that he was neither opposing nor supporting the DREAM Act (citizenship for children of immigrants) and the banning of 'secret holds'.

But, the highlights of his remarks were related to DADT.  He did not indicate that he would oppose it, nor whether he would actually try to filibuster the Defense Authorization bill so long as DADT was attached.  But, he did come very close to promising a filibuster: "This is why I am opposed to debating and amending the National Defense Authorization Act at this time.  I believe very strongly that we should wait – actually wait, and not take any action on this controversial issue until we hear from our troops on what they think the impact of repeal would be."

McCain concluded by blasting the Democrats playing "political football" with the Defense Authorization legislation, saying that it "disrespects the long standing traditions of the Senate."  Democrats made the same complaints when the Republicans were in control of the Congress.

McCain is running for re-election against Democrat Rodney Glassman.



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