Two prominent senators introduced a bipartisan bill Friday to end the ban on gay and lesbian troops serving openly in the military.
Introduced by senators Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, the bill comes after the Senate failed to win enough procedural votes Thursday to move forward on the National Defense Authorization Act, which included an amendment to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."
According to The Washington Post, Lieberman and Collins collaborated on the idea for a stand-alone bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" during Thursday's failed vote. Senate majority leader harry Reid reportedly told Lieberman that he would fast-track the bill to a full vote, rather than force it to go through the committee process. Democratic aides told the Post that a vote could come late Tuesday or Wednesday after senators consider the impending tax cut legislation.
White House officials said Friday that President Barack Obama wishes to explore all legislative options to repeal the 17-year-old law during the lame-duck session, which is drawing to a close.