WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sent a message to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal advocates on Sunday: Don’t hold your breath. He said the policy change is unlikely to happen this year. He stated, however, that the prognosis for passing an extension of unemployment benefits and tax cuts looks brighter.
The National Defense Authorization Act, said McConnell on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, typically takes two weeks. “I don’t see how we can possibly finish the defense authorization bill, a two-week bill, fully aside from these controversial items that are in it — there are a whole lot of other things in it — before the end of the year.”
When asked by host David Gregory whether he thinks there is enough support to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, McConnell simply replied, “My personal view is that Sen. McCain is correct on this. I tend to follow his lead. We’ll find out when we finally get around to debating this bill, which I think will be before the end of the year.” McCain, of course, has been one of the most vocal opponents of repealing DADT, consistently finding new explanations for supporting the ban.