The Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee announced today that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was a settled issue, which neither a Romney presidency nor a Republican-majority Senate would reverse.
The repeal of DADT, which, enacted under the Clinton administration, forbade openly gay and lesbian members from serving in the military, has come to be seen as a major triumph of the Obama administration. Mr Obama’s re-election campaign has used it prominently in video manifestos, especially targetting the LGBT community.
Today, Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon, a Californian representative, said that the focus now was on restoring money for the military, as the defence department faces a round of cuts, of up to $487 billion over 10 years.
When asked about DADT, Mr McKeon said he wouldn’t revisit it. That fight was over, he told reporters over a long breakfast interview with defence correspondents, adding: “That’s not something that I would personally bring up.”
On the question of defence spending, over which the Republicans and Democrats remain in an unresolved deadlock, with the potential to usher forth $1.2 trillion of cuts in military and domestic programmes, Mr McKeon said that the November elections had the potential to be one of the nastiest ever, thanks to heavy spending by vested political groups from the outside.
The Pentagon is currently marking LGBT pride month with official endorsements from President Obama and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.