Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain
are furious over the last-minute 'jam' of legislation that repeals
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
Both senators lamented the legislation
being “jammed” through the lame-duck session of Congress.
“I am very disappointed such a major
policy change was jammed through the lame duck Congress without the
ability to offer one single amendment,” Graham, a South Carolina
Republican, said in a statement.
On Saturday, the Senate approved repeal
of the law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
members overwhelmingly voted in favor of repeal on Wednesday.
Barack Obama has praised passage of the bill and is expected to sign
it into law next week.
McCain was fired up on the Senate floor
Saturday, arguing that repeal would hurt military readiness.
“Here we are about six weeks after an
election that repudiated the agenda of the other side, we are jamming
– or trying to jam – major issues through the Senate of the
United States because they know they can't get it done beginning next
January 5,” the Arizona senator said.
Both men continued to quote Marine
Corp Commandant James Amos, who said repeal of the law could lead to
the loss of life.
“This is truly not the way to make
such a major change to U.S. military policy,” Graham added.
“Apparently, the concerns of the Commandant of the Marine Corps,
who indicated repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' under these
conditions would affect battlefield preparedness potentially leading
to increased risk of casualties, were ignored.”
"Today's a very sad day,” McCain
said before senators voted for cloture on the bill. “The
commandant of the United States Marine Corps says when your life
hangs on the line, you don't want anything distracting. . . . I don't
want to permit that opportunity to happen and I'll tell you why. You
go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marines are up there with no legs,
none. You've got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs."
doubt the actions of eight fellow Republicans who joined all but one
Democrat, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, in voting for repeal
also angered McCain and Graham.