A bill that would withhold the cost of implementing the “don't ask, don't tell” policy is expected to be announced tonight by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a gay fundraiser, the New York Times reported.

Gillibrand is the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) ninth annual greater New York fundraiser in Manhattan. HRC, the nation's largest gay rights advocate, recently endorsed Gillibrand's 2010 candidacy.

The bill seeks to deny funding to the military for the costs of implementing the policy that bans gay troops from serving openly in Armed Forces.

Gillibrand is expected to introduce her proposal as an amendment to the federal budget.

The policy has come under heavy scrutiny since President Obama called for an end to the law during his first State of the Union address. On Tuesday, the Pentagon's top brass – Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates – told a key Senate panel considering the issue that the military should end the policy.

The military has spent between $290 million and more than a half a billion dollars implementing its ban on open gay service, according to a recent research brief released by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a public policy institute that focuses on sexual orientation law.

Gillibrand once considered backing a proposal that would have paused the firing of gay troops, but she abandoned the idea after it attracted little interest.

The announcement is another sign that Gillibrand is counting on the gay vote to help secure her Senate seat.

In accepting her appointment to the Senate by Governor David Paterson, Gillibrand declared her public support for gay marriage. A move many commentators have said was necessary to win Paterson's backing. Since then, she has become a leading opponent in the Senate of the military's gay ban.

Gillibrand is expected to face former Tennessee Representative Harold Ford Jr. for the Democratic nomination. Ford, who twice voted in favor of defining marriage as a heterosexual union in the U.S. Constitution, recently announced he favored granting gay couples the right to marry. The thirty-nine-year-old politician's change of heart has been widely criticized by gay activists.

“I know a snake oil salesman when I see one,” Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle said.

Also scheduled to appear at Saturday's event at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan are actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Bebe Neuwirth.