We were told in the last election we should vote for GOP candidates so they could cut corporate taxes and magically create thousands of jobs. I'm all about jobs, I love mine and want everyone to have one too. So that's why it really bothers me when law makers are wasting time on things that have already happened or things that are already law.
This week, the GOP controlled House Armed Services Committee, voted for a series of amendments related to DADT repeal and DOMA. The amendments were added to Pentagon budget legislation.
Would expand the certification requirement to repeal DADT to include input from the four military service chiefs. The current DADT repeal law, signed by President Obama in December, says the president, defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff need to sign off. This amendment, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif) would expand that list of folks that need to sign off to include input from the chiefs of staff for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss) voted for the amendment and said he opposes DADT repeal because he has not met one American or US Service member who wants the anti-gay law to end. Now, I've gone ahead and called Rep. Steve Palazzo, at 202-225-5772 to ensure he hears from at least one American who wants DADT repealed.
The amendment seeks to delay implementation of DADT repeal and frankly, suggests the President of the United States (aka the Commander in Chief) isn't capable of making military decisions. Further more, it is unlikely the amendment will pass in the senate, and even more unlikely the President will sign in into law, making it a waste of time.
The amendment passed 33-27 with 2 Republicans voting against it and one Democrat voting for it.
First a little background to set the stage for these next amendments. On April 13, Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark Tidd sent out a guidance paper that said military bases could be used for same-sex marriage ceremonies in states where those unions are legal and that Navy chaplains could officiate those weddings if they CHOSE to. After the release of the paper, conservatives got into a tizzy and the Navy rescinded it and said they need to look further into the matter.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo) introduced an amendment that mandates marriage ceremonies on military bases need to comply with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which says marriage is between one man and one woman. The amendment also says chaplains can only officiate weddings in their official capacity if it complies with DOMA.
The amendment passed 38-23. Republicans on the committee were unanimous for their support of it and two Democrats also voted in favor.
This little diddy came from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo) restates that the "one man, one woman" definition of marriage in DOMA applies to Defense Department regulations and policies.
Hartzler said the amendment was to reaffirm congressional support for DOMA and opposition to same-sex marriage. She went on to say, "I think at this is a time for us in this Congress, to 112th Congress, to give our stance that we believe this is a wise policy and that marriage should be between one man and one woman." Isn't she lovely?
The amendment passed 39-28.
All of these amendments were added as part of the defense reauthorization bill and it will likely pass the House of Representatives. There could be a vote as soon as May 23. Then the Senate will take it on.
PS- Don't forget to call Rep. Steve Palazzo, at 202-225-5772, to make sure he knows there are people out there who want DADT repealed.