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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

 2:38 PM 

Feingold, Kohl back 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl each voted today to advance a Defense authorization bill that would have repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving in the military, but the bill fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to invoke cloture.

With 60 votes required to move forward, the measure was backed 56-43, with Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voting with Republicans in opposition. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted no in order to return the bill to the floor at a later date.

The bill, which also included a provision providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants attending college or serving in the military, is now likely delayed until next year.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the only openly gay woman serving in the House, said that a handful of senators has "thwarted the will of 75 percent of the American people."

"It is shameful that bigotry and partisan, election-year politics have subverted fairness, justice, and good government in the Senate today," said Baldwin, D-Madison, in a statement.


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