Holding Off on DADT

Reporting Wednesday’s markup of the 2011 defense bill by his House Armed Services Committee, chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) noted, “You won’t find any mention of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).” The reason, he said, is that he and ranking member Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) “have agreed to support” the request by Pentagon leaders for “time to study the issue.” Earlier this month, Skelton’s counterpart in the Senate, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), asked Defense Secretary Bob Gates to clarify the Pentagon role in the current debate. Levin is a co-sponsor of the bill (S3065) from Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) to repeal DADT. Skelton, so far, has not signed on to a related bill (HR1283) introduced last year in the House by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.). (Skelton markup remarks)