It’s Time for Susan Collins to Vote to Repeal DADT
Now that the Pentagon has completed its nine month study of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (the policy which prohibits service members from revealing their sexual orientation), Senator Collins must finally vote to repeal this policy.
I don’t need to persuade Senator Collins that DADT is bad policy. In her speech on the Senate floor in September she said “Let me start by making my position crystal clear: I agree…that the don’t ask, don’t tell law should be repealed.” She continued, “My view is that our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country. The bottom line for me is this: if an individual is willing to put on the uniform of our country, to be deployed in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, to risk his or her life for our country, then we should be expressing our gratitude to those individuals, not trying to exclude them from serving or expel them from the force.”
Yet she has refused to vote for the repeal of DADT. Why? Because Senate Republicans have vowed to block votes on all issues and bills unrelated to tax cuts and government spending.
DADT is about government spending. In 2005, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that in the first ten years of DADT, the military spent $95 million recruiting replacements for the service members discharged under the policy and another $95 million training those replacements. These numbers are conservative; a Blue Ribbon Commission formed by the Palm Center after the issuance of the GAO report estimated that Pentagon costs for the first ten years of DADT were closer to $360 million than the $190 million estimated by the GAO.
DADT is wasteful spending. If the Senate Republicans are truly concerned with the deficit, government spending and an effective military, they should put aside political bickering and vote to repeal DADT. Senator Collins, I’m looking at you. Will you put policy ahead of partisan politics? Will you vote to repeal DADT?
You can email Susan Collins or call her at (202) 224-2523. This mailbox has been full the past few days, so I’d also suggest calling one of her district offices:
- Augusta Office (207) 622-8414
- Bangor Office (207) 945-0417
- Biddeford Office (207) 283-1101
- Caribou Office (207) 493-7873
- Lewiston Office (207) 784-6969
- Portland Office (207) 780-3575
Tell her DADT is discriminatory and a waste of money. She needs to vote to repeal it. Now.