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“Yes, a compromise was reached that would implement repeal after the DOD report and certification by the POTUS and DOD," the aide said. This would comport with a request made recently by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who favors the repeal, that any scrapping of the 1990's-era law wait for a full review going on now at DOD on implementation. That review is expected to wrap up in December.
The major players here: Senate Armed Services Cmte Chairman Carl Levin, D-MI, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT, and Iraq war veteran and Cong. Patrick Murphy, D-PA.
This will play out on the House floor later this week, when Murphy offers an amendment to the annual defense spending blueprint bill known as the Defense Authorization. The measure is opposed by the House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Ike Skelton, D-MO, who is facing a difficult re-election back home. In the Senate, the measure will be debated and voted on in the Armed Services Committee later this week in closed session.
It is unclear how the vote will go in that committee, though the senior Senate Democratic source said, “We are optimistic, now that there is a compromise agreed to by DOD.”
Most committee Republicans are expected to oppose the measure, including war veteran Sen. John McCain, R-AZ. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, a committee member, told Fox earlier this year, after the President proposed a repeal in his State of the Union address, "At a time when we're putting our men and women through long deployments, it's really not a good idea to engage in social engineering in the military."
The committee is divided 14 to 12, with Democrats in the majority. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE, has said he does not support repeal, but a spokesman for Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, tells Fox, "She is likely going to support Lieberman." So that would be a wash.
The vote is expected to be close and could come down to the vote of the Senate's newest member, Sen. Scott Brown, R-MA, who has said he wants to consult with the generals before making any decision.