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BREAKING: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Cloture Vote Passes 63-33



The Senate just passed cloture on the standalone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by a vote of 63-33. Six Republican Senators joined all but one Democratic Senator in voting yes. The final vote on the bill will be today at 3:00 PM.

This is a developing story and may be updated throughout the day.

After two House votes, two Senate votes, seventeen years of forced lies and witchhunts, over 13,000 discharges, twenty-three military studies — the most recent costing $4.5 million — untold hours and millions of dollars worth of of lobbying and debate, Congress has, albeit reluctantly, come closer to repealing a law already ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge months ago, one that many Americans felt was never a good idea from the start, and now 78% of Americans agree must end.

In what has to be seen as the most-egregious dereliction of their fiduciary duty, Senate Republicans yesterday, in a last-ditch effort and in a continuation of their no-holds-barred hostage-taking and extortion, threatened to defeat the START treaty to regulate and inspect nuclear weapons that exist around the world, potentially putting the very existence of the country at stake.

Republican Senators up until the last minute invoked false concepts, claiming, as Senator John McCain, the leading advocate against repeal, said, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal will cause “great damage” and “harm the battle effectiveness.” McCain actually, falsely, said, as did General Amos earlier in the week, that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal would actually cost limbs and lives.

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), upset about the perfectly legal procedure the Senate used, called “Rule XIV,” threatened, “this game can be played by both sides…next year we’re going to insist on it.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, commenting about the upset of Republican Senators about procedure, said their comments “bring a big yawn to the American people,” who know the obstruction the Republicans have been practicing all year, and said, “to suggest that there hasn’t been hearing after hearing on this is just nonsensical.”

It’s important for all to remember that with this historic vote, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a law and policy is closer to coming to an end, but the military and the Commander in Chief would still have to “certify” when — and if — the military is ready to allow openly-gay and lesbian service members to serve.

Justin Elzie, the first U.S. Marine discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” wrote to me about today’s vote. He says,

“I feel hopeful that this vote for cloture today and the final vote in the next day or two will finally get rid of this egregious policy. People need to know that this is an important first step, but this is not over until after a 60 day waiting period, a certification by the President, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and an implementation plan started by the Pentagon that needs to be rolled out. Most importantly the discharges need to stop and that doesn’t happen yet with today’s vote. This is not over until all of that happens. This vote is happening today thanks to the tireless efforts of many veterans and activists from groups like Servicemembers United to GetEqual. Let’s celebrate after today’s vote but realize we will need to roll up our sleeves and get the discharges stopped and an implementation plan finished before this is over.”

Lt. Dan Choi, the posterboy for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” who is reportedly now in a Veterans’ Administration facility after suffering from PTSD which he attributes in part to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fight, released a statement via Twitter as this morning’s debate was taking place. “‘No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.’ Victor Hugo #DreamAct #DADT

Not voting today were Senators Bunning (R-KY), Gregg (R-NH), Manchin (D-WV) and Hatch (R-UT). The six Republicans voting to move the bill forward were Brown, Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, Voinovich, and Kirk.

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Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat



U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.

That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.

“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.

“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”

“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.

READ MORE: ‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote

Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.

“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.

McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”

“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.

READ MORE: Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately

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‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote



U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.

“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”

AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.

READ MORE: Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos

“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.

“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”

“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.

“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”

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Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos



In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.

“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.

“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.

“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.

READ MORE: Jim Jordan, a ‘Significant Player’ in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results, Running for Speaker of the House

“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”

Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”

“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”

“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”

Watch below or at this link.


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