January 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) has introduced legislation that would halt the repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. President recently signed the repeal into law and the military is on a path to implementation of the repeal measure, which will allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in the U.S. military.
“The idea behind the Restore Military Readiness Act is not necessarily to prevent the implementation of the DADT repeal, but rather to ensure that military readiness and combat effectiveness are not adversely impacted, Hunter said, according to an article published by UPI. “Given that the service chiefs carry most of the day-to-day responsibilities for each service branch, their independent certification is just as important and equally necessary.”
But during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee in December, army Chief of Staff General George Casey testified that he felt Defense Secretary Robert Gates would adequately represent service chiefs on the issue. “I am very comfortable with my ability to provide input to Secretary Gates and to the Chairman that will be listened to and considered,” Casey stated.
Hunter, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has drawn criticism over his bill from California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who co-sponsored the DADT bill. “This issue is settled. It’s time to move on to address what California needs, not looking backwards to derail equality.”
Feinstein, a Democrat, urged voters to sign a petition through the Courage Campaign asking legislators from both parties to reject Hunter’s effort to “paralyze” repeal efforts and focus instead on issues such as the economy and jobs: (www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/RealPriorities)
Even if the bill should pass the Republican controlled House, it would undoubtedly be blocked in the Senate and opposed by President Obama, Feinstein oted. “Rep. Hunter knows his legislation has no chance of success,” she concluded. “Worse, this effort is a distraction from the real work at hand.”