Recently re-elected Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, was among the 15 Republicans to join the majority on a 250-175 House vote today to end the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays in the military.
During the recent hard-fought campaign, the 8th District Congressman was non-committal about his stance on the ban on openly gay service people. In a statement today, Reichert said he was convinced to repeal the Clinton-era policy, after talking to members of the military and reviewing a recent poll of service members. “I accept the findings of the Pentagon report that indicate repeal should not affect military effectiveness, and I support repeal of this policy,” he said.
Reichert Statement on Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Washington, DC – Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today released the following statement on his vote to repeal the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy implemented by President Bill Clinton in 1993:
“My first priority has always been to do what is best to support and protect the brave members of our military, their families, and our country,” Reichert said. “After reviewing the Pentagon report, hearing the support of both Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen, and personally discussing this issue with our Washington men and women serving on the front lines while visiting them in Afghanistan, as well as with many veterans in Washington’s 8th district, I accept the findings of the Pentagon report that indicate repeal should not affect military effectiveness, and I support repeal of this policy. Secretary Gates has made clear his belief that repeal could be implemented with enough time to prepare for the transition, and I trust he will ensure the appropriate steps are taken to preserve superior recruitment, retention, and readiness of our armed forces. As I have said in the past, one of the greatest duties of this Congress is to protect the freedom and liberty of every American, and I believe it is best for Congress to act in this case rather than leave such an important issue for the courts to decide.”
In a press release, Log Cabin Republicans praised the cross-over voters.
The issue now goes to the Senate.