Politico made these comments today regarding the passage of repeal legislation by Congress:
The White House and the Pentagon both approved the compromise in the amendments that allows Congress to act while granting the President, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the ultimate authority to implement repeal only when they are satisfied that the military’s readiness, recruiting, retention and morale would not be adversely impacted by it.
And because the House defied President Obama's veto threat to hang onto funding for two Joint Strike Fighter engines, the situation is even stickier. With the engine money and don't ask don't tell, Obama is situated between a promise he's made to his most powerful Cabinet member and his liberal base of support on a landmark civil rights issue.
The Pentagon is aggressively pushing for a veto.
"We don't want nor need the extra engine, but this is just one step in a long journey and Secretary Gates is committed to staying engaged in this process the whole way, including if necessary ultimately recommending President Obama veto this legislation," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell after the vote.
So too is Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), who supports don’t ask don’t tell repeal but who fought to strip funding for the General Electric engine but who said he was encouraged by a strong vote on the amendment and the fact that the Senate Armed Services Committee did not include funding for the engine in its bill.
“I fully expect the President to follow through with his threatened veto of the Defense Authorization Act if the F-35 Extra Engine Program is in the final legislation,” Larson said.
Gay-rights groups, which have been assured by the White House that repeal will work out in the end, immediately hailed the Senate panel’s vote as historic.(FULL STORY)
So, what does this all mean? It means we have taken an important and positive step forward towards the repeal of DADT; however, repeal has not happened yet. The Congress has done what it can and now the ball is in the President’s court. Hopefully, he will follow through and sign this into law and then, meet the demands of signing off on it with his Secretary of Defense and the Head of the Joint Chiefs.
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