Amazing. In an historic moment, the Senate has voted 63-33 for cloture on the stand-alone bill to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The cloture vote clears the largest conressional hurdle to repeal the 17-year-old ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military. At least six Republicans supported the vote.
This bill was introducted by Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman after two unsuccessful attempts by the Senate to include DADT repeal as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The measure is identical to the House bill that passed Wednesday by a 250-175 vote.
Voting for cloture means only 30 hours of debate remain before a final vote. Sixty votes were needed.
The Republicans voting YES included: Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Mark Kirk (IL), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Olympia Snowe (ME) and George Voinovich (OH). Collins co-sponsored the repeal bill.
In the Democratic caucus, all members present voted for cloture but newly-elected Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) did not vote. On December 9, Manchin was the only Democrat to support the Republican filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act, the original vehicle for DADT repeal.