I was told Sen. Nelson's message is going to be that this isn't about the next election... what the [Lieberman-Levin] amendment does is "remove the politics and puts the policy at DOD first." He will emphasize that nothing will happen until after the review is completed and implementation is planned, and that's the way it oughta be handled. He will further emphasize that the current policy is "just not honest" and "just not the way it should be handled".
Big, big, big news. As I reported last night, Sen. Bayh is a "soft yes", and if he fully commits, we will have the votes in hand on the Armed Services Committee.
NELSON: REMOVE POLITICS FROM 'DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL' REPEAL
May 26, 2010 - Today, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson released this statement concerning legislation pending before the Senate Armed Services Committee to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell," law Congress approved in 1993.
"I don't believe that most Nebraskans want to continue a policy that not only encourages but requires people to be deceptive and to lie. The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy does just that. It also encourages suspicion and senior officers to look the other way. In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit.
"The process being used to repeal this policy is fraught with typical Washington politics, with some suggesting Congress waits until after the November elections and others pushing for a vote before the elections.
"I will support the Lieberman compromise because it removes politics from the process. It bases implementation of the repeal on the Pentagon's review and a determination by our military leaders that repeal is consistent with military readiness and effectiveness, and that the Pentagon has prepared the necessary regulations to make the changes.
"I spoke to Secretary Gates and he advised that while he preferred waiting until the study is completed, he can live with this compromise.
"The Lieberman compromise shows that Congress values the Pentagon's review that will include the advice and viewpoints from our men in women in uniform, from outside experts and from the American people about how to implement the repeal. It rests ultimate authority to make this change with our military leaders. I believe this is the right thing to do."