With the final weeks closing in on the 111th Congress, the Senate will vote on a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members, as well as a bill that offers children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday.
With Republicans set to take over the House in January, this is likely to be the last chance supporters of both measures will have to get the bills passed for years.
While a handful of Republicans have already vowed to support the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, it is very unlikely that the DREAM Act, which would give children who were brought to the country illegally a path to citizenship if they seek an education or join the military, has enough support to reach the 60 votes that are needed to bring it to the floor.
The House has already approved versions of each bill, so the Senate would be the last stop before President Obama signs them into law.
The Senate will start with a procedural vote on the DREAM Act “early” Saturday morning, then move on to DADT repeal, and wrap up with a temporary stopgap measure to fund the government into the next year.
That would knock out most of Reid’s checklist for the lame duck session, and increase the chances that the Senate will be able to adjourn this year with plenty of time to get home for Christmas.