Lieberman, Dems Want Deal with GOP on Gays in Military

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some Senate Democrats are pressuring Majority Leader Harry Reid to strike a deal with Republicans to aid passage of a bill that would let gays serve openly in the military.

A dozen Democrats and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, urged Reid Thursday to allow an extended debate on the wide-ranging defense authorization bill, which includes language repealing the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Lieberman said the Senate’s desire to adjourn before the holidays was no reason to curtail debate and give Republicans an excuse to oppose the bill. Last September, GOP senators blocked the bill because Reid wouldn’t allow the two weeks of debate they said was needed to address such major legislation.

If Reid permits the extended debate, the legislation is expected to pass. A spokesman for Reid said no decisions have been made.

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