The Pentagon’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will be nothing but a memory by year’s end, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared Wednesday.
Pelosi, in an interview with The Hill, stopped short of laying all of her strategic cards on the table. She wouldn’t say whether the House will take the lead on the issue or predict when the Clinton administration-era tenet would be repealed.
But she made it clear ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is at the top of her agenda.
“I don’t have any doubt that ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ will be a memory by the end of this year,” she said.
However, the prospects for a law banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity — another pillar of the gay-rights platform — are somewhat dimmer.
Pelosi is optimistic that she will have enough House votes for both the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and a repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
But that is far from certain. The ENDA bill has 202 co-sponsors and the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has 192, well short of the 216 or so needed.
Some conservative Democrats have said they don’t want to vote on the controversial bills, especially in the wake of tough votes on healthcare and climate change.
“I’m not going to bring up anything that’s not going to win,” Pelosi said. “And we feel that we’re in a pretty good, strong position on both bills.”
“Nothing is easy here,” Pelosi later added. “There isn’t one easy vote.”
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