Pennsylvania Republican Senator-elect Pat Toomey announced on Thursday that he supports repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The Senate will hold a vote on repeal Saturday, and it appears that there are 61 votes in favor, one more than is needed to prevent a filibuster.
Toomey cannot vote, but his support may be significant if repeal is for some reason not successful during the lame duck session.
“Our civilian and professional military leadership have now spoken and said we should repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Toomey said in his statement, “I would support a free-standing measure to do so.”
The success of the free-standing bill sponsored by Sens. Lieberman and Collins will depend on the votes of moderate Republican senators who have recently stated their support for repeal, including Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Each voted against repeal in September and again earlier this month.
Toomey is a former Congressman and former President of the Club for Growth. He is widely regarded as a conservative, fiscally and socially.
As reported by TheDC, a coalition of conservative organizations is preparing a last-minute push to discourage moderate Republican and Democratic senators from voting for repeal on Saturday. If this effort encounters any success, repeal would likely not occur during the lame duck session.