U.S. senators representing the Carolinas broke down by party on Wednesday’s Defense Authorization cloture motion. The bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), contains provisions to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). A successful cloture motion would have ended a GOP-led filibuster and allowed debate on the measure.
Republican Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) all voted against the measure. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) joined all but two of her Democratic colleagues in voting to proceed to debate. The measure failed 56 to 43; 60 votes were needed for the measure to pass.
After the vote, Graham addressed reporters, including The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld and Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“Whether you like it or not and whether Lady Gaga likes it or not is not of any great concern to me right now because you’re not in the military and she’s not in the military,” Graham said. “I want to hear from people actually wearing the uniform and who will be impacted by this.”
Graham continued: “We’re in the middle of two wars. There’s a lot going on in military families right now. They are under a lot of stress. People have been deployed multiple times, and to drop this on them now, under these circumstances, I think is unfair.”
The NDAA also contains another provision, the DREAM Act, which would provide a means for undocumented minors to achieve legal status through high school graduation and two years of college or military service.
The measure will be taken up again after this year’s mid-term elections.
Photo credit: cliff1066, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.