1. The U.S. House voted to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" last night. Washington State's delegation split along party lines with all six Democrats voting to repeal and all three Republicans voting no.
Former Microsoft exec, Suzan DelBene, who's running against Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8), issued the following statement:
“I believe every one of us has equal rights under the law. It’s that simple. Today’s vote to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a big step in the right direction, and Congressman Reichert stood in the way.
“Congressman Reichert’s decision to oppose the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell goes against the advice of some of our nation’s top military and civilian leaders, and is out of step with the people he represents.”
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to repeal it yesterday as well. So the repeal is queued up for the Senate floor.
What Would Dino Rossi do?
UPDATE: Rossi told the Tacoma News Tribune last night he's okay with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and would rather the military make the decision than congress. Thanks to reader "I'm with Patty" for the heads up on the TNT interview.
2. "Don't Ask Don't Tell" wasn't the only amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that the House took up yesterday. There was also a controversial vote starring Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA, 9).
ABC News tore into Smith earlier this week for pushing a defense appropriations "boondoggle" to fund a GE F-35 engine contract (even though another company, Pratt Whitney, already provides the engine). We broke the news this week that GE's lobbying firm is Smith's top campaign contributor. (The DOD says they don't want a second contractor.)
Yesterday, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)—Pratt Whitney builds the F-35 engine in Maine—proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to zap the funding for the GE contract. Her amendment lost 231-193 with Washington state's delegation splitting on the controversial contract.
All of Washington state's Republican delegation voted with Smith for the GE contract (along with Democrat Rick Larsen.) The rest of our delegation, all Democrats, including Seattle-area Reps. Jay Inslee and Jim McDermott, voted with Pingree (and against Smith) against the second contract.
3. Footnote: A Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1) amendment to make the DOD take unfair competitive advantages into account (and presumably not award the contract) specifically on the aerial tanker contract (which Boeing wants and in which the WTO ruled Air Bus has an unfair competitive advantage) passed nearly unanimously 410-8, with the entire Washington delegation in Inslee's (and Boeing's) corner.
Yay WTO ruling.