President Obama wants to revoke "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but Congress will have to repeal the ban on gays in the military. We hear about morale and civil rights in the military. Also, more troops for Afghanistan, and a progress report on healthcare reform, which gets its final hearing today in the Senate Finance Committee.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Senate Finance today became the fifth Committee of Congress to take up healthcare reform, with a version designed to get enough votes to pass the full Senate. One of the big questions about reform was whether a single Republican would be willing to go along. In Senate Finance today, all eyes were on Olympia Snowe of Maine. Alex Wayne covers healthcare policy for CQPolitics.com.
At a gay rights dinner on Saturday night, President Obama repeated as promise he made during last year's campaign, that of ending the exclusion of gays in the military. Obama could revoke Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy, but it will take an act of Congress to repeal the ban. Hard-line activists say Obama is moving too slowly, but now from the Pentagon's highest levels comes a call for the repeal of the ban. An article for the Joint Chiefs of Staff says there's "no scientific evidence" that gays and lesbians damage morale," but that, in the meantime, they're required to live a lie. Is Congress likely to listen?
Bryan Bender, Boston Globe (@GlobeBender)
James Bowman, Ethics and Public Policy Center (@JamesVBowman)
Nathaniel Frank, Senior Fellow, UC Santa Barbara's Palm Center
Nan Hunter, Georgetown University Law Center