Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed a test vote Wednesday while he worked on a deal with Republican Sen. Susan Collins, but he earlier said he believed he could get the 60 votes needed to end the military’s ban on openly gay soldiers.

Collins, meanwhile, said any effort to end the ban before the Senate decided whether to extend tax cuts for the wealthy would fail, TPM reports.

Seventy percent of Americans favor ending the ban on openly gay soldiers. Lawmakers looking to dodge the issue have said that a vote should wait for the results of a Pentagon review. That review has since concluded that the risks of ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” are low and “The reality is that there are gay men and lesbians already serving in today’s U.S. military and most service members recognize this. … Much of the concern about open service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes about what it would mean.” — PZS

AP via Google:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and White House officials say they think there are enough votes to advance a defense policy bill that would repeal the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay service members.

[…] Reid told reporters he was close to striking a deal with Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins that he believes would win the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles. A spokesman for Collins could not be reached immediately.

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