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Hoyer: Senate Has Repeal Votes

Hoyer: Senate Has Repeal Votes


Echoing what Sen. Joe Lieberman has been saying for weeks, House majority leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday the Senate has the votes to pass a stand-alone "don't ask, don't tell" repeal bill. Rep. Barney Frank agreed in a statement of his own Thursday.

Hoyer told The Huffington Post in an interview that his Senate counterparts had told him the votes are there. He said he has been working closely with Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins, and suggested to Lieberman that the House move first on voting for repeal.

"Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins determined that they would introduce a bill," Hoyer said. "I called and talked to a number of people. I then called Senator Lieberman and said 'Joe, my intent will be to talk to Congressman Murphy' -- who's the sponsor of the amendment that was adopted in the defense bill -- 'and put this in as a freestanding bill, because we can probably send it over to you more quickly than you can send to us.' And he agreed and we introduced exactly the same bill that they have in the Senate."

That bill passed 250-175 on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Frank said it's his belief the Senate has at least 62 votes, including Republican senator Olympia Snowe, who announced Wednesday that she would back a stand-alone repeal bill.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid suggested Wednesday that the earliest he might schedule a vote would be next week.

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