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Cloture Vote Fails on Motion to Proceed with National Defense Authorization Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, expressed deep disappointment today with  the failure of Senate leadership and moderate Republicans to reach an  agreement that would have succeeded in breaking the filibuster on the  motion to proceed on the defense authorization bill. This year’s defense  authorization bill contains a provision that would finally enable the  repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.

“Today’s  vote is a failure of leadership on the part of those who have been duly  elected to serve this nation and to put the best interests of the  country ahead of partisan politics,” said Alexander Nicholson, founder  and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. “The Senate could learn  a good lesson from those who serve in uniform and who stand to benefit  from proceeding to debate on this bill – serving this country means  putting politics aside and getting the job done. It is simply  inexcusable that this vote failed today.”

The  votes to break the filibuster had previously been lined up, but last  week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to use an uncommon  procedural privilege on the bill that eroded support for breaking the  filibuster and guaranteed the vote’s failure. Intense lobbying and  public pressure over the past week proved not to be enough to force  either side to back down. The Senate will not likely take up the defense  authorization bill again until after the mid-term elections in  November.

For more information about Servicemembers United and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org.

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