The US Senate voted on two historic pieces of legislation Saturday morning — 'The DREAM Act' and an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The DREAM Act, which would have cleared a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants who have grown up in America, did NOT pass though both Sen. Evan Bayh (D) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R) voted in favor of the bill.
Final vote was 55-41, with a three-fifths majority needed to pass (60 votes).
We’ll have more soon on how this vote affects the lives of the local students who have been participating in a national hunger strike hoping the DREAM Act would pass. In the meantime, you can read our Diary of A Hunger Striker series from the participants and News Editor Austin Considine’s most recent reporting.
Immediately following the vote on the DREAM Act, a short debate on putting an end to the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy against gay men and women serving in the military took place.
While this wasn’t the final vote needed to end the DADT policy, rather a vote on rather to have the vote, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conneticut) gave a short speech in support, saying it was time to end the discrimination. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said it was a “sad day” in the senate when he was being asked to vote on something that could "harm" soldiers.
Today’s vote to “move the bill forward” passed 63-33. A formal/final vote has now been scheduled for 3pm today.
Lugar voted ‘no.’ Bayh voted ‘yes.’
The House of Representatives voted to repeal ‘DADT’ earlier this week.
*Update (3:32pm) Senate has voted to repeal the military's DADT policy. Measure passes with vote of 65-31. President Obama is expected to sign early next week.