Maine's junior Senator, the Republican Susan Collins, has the power to end the military's ban on openly gay soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen today--or the ability to crush the hopes of those hoping to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year, according to a Democratic leadership aide. It's her choice, says the Senate Democratic aide, who has direct knowledge of the talks leading up to today's planned cloture vote on the defense spending bill that contains the repeal language. [Emphasis mine.]Greg Sargent:
A spokesman for Collins flatly denies she asked Reid for unlimited debate. Rather, the spokesman says, Collins has pointed out to Reid that the average number of days spent debating previous defense authorization bills has been 11 days, with an average of 14 or so amendments considered. Collins has asked Reid to come up with a comparable offer, the spokesman says.Keeping things as murky as possible, as usual.