Senator Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he is looking to remove ‘controversial’ measures in the defense authorization bill. The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” is already out of the defense bill. Mr. Levin was not specific about which items he was referring to, but other than the now removed DADT measure, another item deemed controversial by most, is the lifting of the ban on abortions on military bases.
“Don’t ask don’t tell was already out. We couldn’t get it in. All I can tell you is that the controversial items had to be removed if we’re going to get a bill both passed the house because it has to get a 2/3 vote in the House, and here [in the Senate] you have to get unanimous consent, so what we’re working on is a stripped down bill,” said Senator Levin. “It’ll still have 80 or 90 percent of it’s provisions. Those are the policy provisions. But we still have to get unanimous consent here. I’m working on removing the controversial provisions,” he said.
It appears Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat, may have been saved offering an amendment, thanks to Senator Levin. Mr. Casey gave a vague response to a reporter on Monday regarding whether or not he would vote for or against the defense bill if the abortion language remained in the legislation after Mr. Casey would offer an amendment to apparently keep the abortion ban on the bases.