Senator Reid schedules defense authorization bill for next week

WASHINGTON - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, applauded today's announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office that Senator Reid will finally bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) up for debate during the week of Sept. 2.

The NDAA contains an important provision that would authorize the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, in addition to authorizations for annual pay and equipment funding for the entire military.

"We are both pleased and relieved that Senator Reid has decided to schedule the defense authorization bill for floor time next week," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "We are fairly confident that we will have the 60 votes to break a filibuster of this bill. It would be shameful for lawmakers to vote to hold up an important and expansive piece of legislation like the defense authorization bill simply because of their opposition to one or two provisions within it."

Servicemembers United has been leveling sustained, heavy pressure on Senator Reid over the delay in allowing the NDAA to move forward, including sharp criticism just this morning in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill ("Reid My Lips: No Forgiveness for No NDAA in September").

A Senate-focused "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lobby day, nicknamed "The Final Assault," is scheduled for this Thursday, September 16th in Washington, DC. Anyone interested in participating in this effort should register immediately at www.ServicemembersUnited.org.

Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education and advocacy on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

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