Lisa Murkowski to vote for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski released a statement Wednesday saying that she will support a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy restricting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

“I have concluded that it is time to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law,” Murkowski said in a statement. “I agree with Defense Secretary Gates’ view that the military can successfully implement a repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law provided that proper preparations are implemented.”

Her decision, however, did not come without caveats. Murkowski’s support of the measure “will depend on whether the majority allows for an open and fair amendment process,” which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said will be granted by allowing for 15 amendments, including time to debate them.

Murkowski, a known wild card in the Senate, told reporters earlier on Wednesday that she still had not made up her mind as to whether she would support a defense spending measure that includes a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” provision that Reid has said could come to a vote as early as this week.

That’s a far cry from most Republicans who, when asked if they will support any bills other than a measure to fund the government or to extend the Bush-era tax rates, merely refer reporters to the letter all 42 caucus members signed last week promising to withhold support for anything until those two items of business are completed. Congress has not yet resolved either of those issues.

Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in September that included the “don’t ask, don’t tell” provision and a measure that would offer a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants.

To pass the bill this week, Democrats will need a handful of Republicans to reach the 60 votes needed for cloture. Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins also said she would support the measure, but only if the Senate resolved negotiations on how to extend the Bush-era tax rates first.

This article has been updated.

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  • ProgressivesRfools

    She turned her back on the Republican Party when she betrayed the will of the voters in the primary. For that act she should be treated as the backstabbing Progressive she is and kicked out of the caucus. To allow her to remain is a slap in the face of all Alaskan Republicans. I do hope the RNC see her for the traitor she is.

  • chuck in st paul

    Once again the national GOP has missed the message. Why is this woman still in the GOP caucus? She’s nothing but a spy for the libtard Dims now (if not since forever). Kick her to the curb.

  • BillyShaft

    Nice job Alaska. At least in Utah we fired our RINO Bob Bennett.

  • letsbehonest

    So, all of you are mad because Sen. Murkowski is supporting the OVERWHELMING will of the people (70%) to repeal “DADT.” You’re mad that she didn’t succumb to the right wingnuts in the Alaska primary and let the PEOPLE decide the election.

    Sounds like you guys just really hate democracy. Maybe there’s an island for all you misfit toys.

    • chuck in st paul

      90% of Americans don’t know anything about the military nor have they done any research on either the military or the open enlistment of flagrant queers. Your strawman argument is moot.