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December 20th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

What happened in the Senate this weekend

CNNPolitics.com

Washington (CNN) - While you might have been finishing up your holiday shopping over the weekend, the Senate was hard at work. Here's what you missed - and what still remains to be done as the lame-duck Congress comes to a close.

Don't ask, don't tell

History was made on Saturday when the Senate reversed the military's long-standing "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bans openly gay servicemembers from serving.

Eight Republicans and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, joined Democrats to back the bill, which passed by a 65-31 margin. The bill needed a simple majority - meaning support from 51 of the Senate's 100 members - to pass.

The House passed the bill by a 250 to 175 margin on Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will sign the bill into law this week.

START

Senate Republicans mounted a counterattack Sunday against ratifying a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year, trying to put off a vote that Democrats say they would win.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN's "State of the Union" that Republicans need more time to consider the START accord.

The treaty would resume mutual inspections of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, while limiting each nation to 1,550 warheads and 700 launchers.

Democrats, meanwhile, rejected a Republican amendment to the treaty's preamble that would have added a reference to tactical nuclear weapons, which are not covered by the pact.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Gosh the spin in your Blogs CNN is appaling DADT will be law by Wednesday this week.
    START, has so much external Republican support from past SEC State(s) and others a failed McCain amendment designed to make the agreement nonsense, and many republicans who agree and despite Compromises from Obama as required by KYL, this is pure politics of minimising his international achievements.
    Finally I quote from the "American Heritage Dictionary of the English language of the definition of "CONGRESS"
    "TO MEET IN OR AT A CONGRESS" ( NOTE EX MIDDLE ENGLISH CONGRESSE), A COMING TOGETHER ( EXTRACTED FROM LATIN CONGRESSUS EX CONGREDI (A COMING TOGETHER) LEADING TO A MEANING OF TO GO.
    All said to be relevant to the governance of Republics like the US!?
    Seems to me Republicans need TO GO (which excludes filibuster) Come together ( = debate) which should not need pre-conditions from either side)
    in brief = GO,MEET,DEBATE, AND THEN PLEASE, PLEASE RESPECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE OT IDEOLOGY.
    If this a lame duck set of activities from our Congress then more of the same " lame ducks" please!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    December 21, 2010 at 2:16 am |