Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday postponed a vote on repeal of the military's ban on open gay service.

On the Senate floor, Reid announced plans to move forward on repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” which is tucked inside the Defense Authorization Act: “I'm likely going to move to my motion to reconsider on the Defense Authorization Act this evening. Allowing, as I will indicate at the time, time for amendments to that piece of legislation.”

Reid's plan met with stiff resistance from Republicans, including repeal proponent Maine Senator Susan Collins, who threatened to vote against repeal of the law that bans gay and bisexual troops to serve openly.

Collins demanded a “fair and open” process on debate and amendments to the bill.

Members of the GOP caucus have promised to unite against the defense bill unless Democratic leaders first address the Bush-era tax cuts.

“Everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first,” Collins told reporters Wednesday. “So I have urged the Majority Leader to postpone the vote … which he is threatening to hold tonight so we could get the tax bill considered first.”

Negotiations are expected to resume on Thursday. Republicans are asking for greater freedom to choose amendments and up to 34 hours of debate on the bill. Reid has offered half that number.

“There are many people in my caucus who disagree with my position [in favor of repeal],” Collins said. “They deserve an opportunity to offer amendments to strike that provision, to modify it, and also to address other important controversial issues in the bill.”