Will Senate block DADT repeal? 

After the House passed a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” 234 to 194 last night, the Senate will likely take up the legislation in June. GOP senators say that they’re willing to filibuster the legislation, but do they have the votes?

Susan Collins already voted for repeal in committee, and it’s difficult to imagine Olympia Snowe voting differently from her Maine colleague. So that puts the GOP caucus at 39 votes. They’d have 40 votes to filibuster repeal if Senator Jim Webb, who voted against repeal in committee, joins them–still one vote short of 41 needed to filibuster. So it appears most likely that they would need another Democrat to vote to filibuster. Who might that be?

Mark Pryor of Arkansas, for one, said through his spokesman he’d vote against repeal if the vote occurs before the Pentagon’s report on “don’t ask, don’t tell” is complete.

He’ll vote NO if there is a vote before the report is issued.  We’ve made a commitment to hear from our servicemen and women before a new policy was implemented and Senator Pryor is going to honor that commitment.

But in the coming weeks the left will be holding Pryor’s feet to the fire in an attempt to get him to vote against a filibuster even if he votes against the underlying bill. Pryor will have to decide whether honoring that commitment to servicemen and women is more important than party loyalty.

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John McCormack

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