House Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) have announced the introduction of a standalone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
In a statement today, Rep. Hoyer said:
“I look forward to bringing this bill to the House floor soon, and I hope the Senate will swiftly take action as well so that the bill can be signed into law as soon as possible. This discriminatory and harmful policy has weakened America’s security by depriving us of the work of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably.”
Rep. Patrick Murphy added:
“The time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell has come. …I’m proud to stand with the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the majority of servicemembers and the American public who all support repeal of this discriminatory policy that harms our national security and military readiness.”
The House of Representatives had already voted to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Last week Senate Republicans voted to block the National Defense Authorization Act, but supporters of repeal followed up by introducing a standalone Senate bill. The bill introduced into the House of Representatives today mirrors closely the language of that Senate bill, increasing the chances that the two can ultimately be reconciled.
If both the House and the Senate vote to pass repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the legislation could still be signed into law before the end of the year.