Update: DADT passes final vote in the Senate with help of Senator Nelson. The bill is headed to President Obama for signature into law. Senator Johanns voted no. Rep. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry also voted against the repeal of DADT.
Action: Send Senator Nelson "thank you" notes on Twitter or Facebook. Send "shame on you" notes to Johanns, Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. Some Members of Congress turned active comments/posting off on their Facebook, so you have to reply to a post in order to be heard on their Facebook page. You can also leave message on their DC voicemail by calling the switchboard and asking to speak to your Senator or Representative 202-224-3121 they will patch you right through.
History was made today. The US Senate voted on cloture for two bills this morning--the repeal of DADT and the DREAM Act. Cloture is the process in the Senate that needs 60 votes in order to have debate and then the "real" vote on if the bill passes the Senate and gets on the path to become a law.
The Senate passed a cloture vote for the repeal of DADT. However, they did not get enough votes to pass the DREAM Act. One great vote, one not so great vote.
Senator Nelson voted to repeal DADT and voted against the DREAM Act. He has indicated he wants to see a full immigration bill rather than votes on parts of immigration policy which is why he voted no on the DREAM Act. Senator Nelson has been a huge supporter and leader in repealing DADT. Kudos go to local organizers like Nic Swiercek, national groups like HRC and brave activists at Get Equal for all using strategies that moved various Senators to repeal a policy that required members of our military to lie.
Senator Johanns voted no on both DADT and the DREAM Act. Senator Johanns rarely votes against his party. We hope he does as he spends more time in DC, but so far he and the other Republican Members of Congress from Nebraska--Terry, Fortenberry and Smith--vote the Republican party line over 90% of the time.
The final vote on the repeal of DADT is happening at 2pm CT, 12/18 which will then send the bill to President Obama.
Let's hope in the next Congress we have comprehensive immigration reform.