Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will Joe Heck Keep His Promise? Or Follow the Radical Right Agenda Again?

It looks like House Republican leaders care more about pleasing teabagger extremists than doing the right thing. They are again playing politics with both our civil rights and our national security.

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to bring to the floor the 2012 defense authorization bill with three antigay amendments — one criticized by a gay service member advocacy group as “a shameful and embarrassing waste of time.”

The three amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, all largely passed along party lines, would require the four service branch chiefs to sign off on “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal; prohibit weddings for same-sex couples on military facilities by chaplains; and affirm that the Defense of Marriage Act applies to Defense Department policies. [...]

Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, doubted that any of the amendments offered would ultimately pass in the Senate — or be signed into law by President Obama. “The offering of this amendment was a shameful and embarrassing waste of time," Nicholson said of the Hunter amendment. "The service chiefs have unequivocally said that they do not want this extra burden forced upon them, so if Congress really values their advice on this issue they should take it and forget this unnecessary and unwanted amendment."

Of the antigay amendments passed, Rep. Adam Smith, ranking member of the committee, said in a late Wednesday statement: "'Don’t ask, don’t tell' forces capable and willing young men and women out of our armed services and undermines national security. These amendments only seek to delay the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and further undermine our military readiness.”

So once these wasteful amendments go to the full House for floor votes, will Joe Heck agree to this nonsense? Last year, he said he supports repeal. But with House GOP leadership and "tea party" bigwigs demanding more discrimination in the military, will Heck buckle under the pressure (as he usually does)?

Call Joe Heck at (202) 225-3252 and let him know what you think about Congress wasting time on these pointless votes while people here in Nevada need jobs. Also make sure to ask him to oppose these amendments and stay true to his word to let DADT repeal stand. We can't stand for any more of this. The unlawful discharges must end and we must let the military keep the service members needed to keep our country safe.

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