U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House will not vote on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act before Congress passes legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."
Pelosi told the Washington Blade that lawmakers "still have to finish 'don't ask, don't tell.'" A Democratic aide later confirmed that there would be no ENDA vote until a "don't ask, don't tell" review is complete.
"We were able to pass the bill with a 40-vote majority in the House of Representatives last Thursday before the break. We're very proud of that vote," Pelosi said, regarding the House's 234-194 approval of the amendment on May 27. Attached to the defense authorization bill, the amendment would lift the legislative ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military.
The same day, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a companion amendment by a 16-12 vote in a closed-door session.
A source said, "We must ensure the community remains focused on getting 'don't ask, don't tell' done and maintaining strong pressure to get the defense bill done in light of filibuster threats in the Senate. Then we can move on to continuing to assess the votes on ENDA."