Moments ago, on a 230-180 vote, the House of Representatives agreed to the rule adopted this morning in the Rules Committee for debate of the standalone bill aimed at repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Debate on the measure is to begin shortly and a vote is expected later this afternoon.
The bill, which is the same as that passed by the House as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act in May, will provide for the repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 -- the DADT provision in federal law -- upon the certification of the president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that repeal will not negatively impact the readiness of the armed forces.
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), who led the debate of the rule resolution for the Democrats, called out Republican opposition to the closed rule, which was led by Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.). Pingree said of the Republican opposition to the closed rule and the legislative procedure by which the bill is being brought to the floor that when the opposition doesn't have "substance," they go to "procedure."
Already, Servicemembers United is preparing for the next step: the Senate.
In a release this afternoon, SU announced "Operation Renewed Engagement" -- not precisely identifying when the initial engagement had ended, but nontheless moving forward -- with executive director Alex Nicholson saying in a statement, "This lobbying blitz is intended to raise visibility for the issue on Capitol Hill, get the message across to Senate offices that we have more than 60 votes for repeal, and encourage Senators to agree to stay in session until the stand-alone repeal bill gets a vote." The SU release notes that 71 offices are being targeted in the effort.
The bill in the Senate, led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) already has 46 co-sponsors, one of whom -- Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is a Republican.