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Hunter Wants Military Chiefs To Control Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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Aired 1/20/11

San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter, (R) El Cajon, has introduced a bill that could delay the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced legislation that could delay how the military implements the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. A California Senator has issued a statement calling the move a distraction.

Hunter said his proposal is not designed to block the repeal of the policy that bars gays from serving openly in the military.

“It simply says the service chiefs are able to have input,” he said, “on what happens to their combat units as the repeal goes forward.”

Hunter said the Obama Administration ignored the reluctance of some service chiefs to repeal the policy, specifically in combat situations.

Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos said before the policy was repealed that he could not endorse a change in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because it could cause distractions, or endanger the lives of Marines in combat. Following the passage of the repeal, Amos said the Marine Corps would “step out smartly to faithfully implement the new policy.”

Hunter said his amendment would allow different branches of the military to implement the repeal at different speeds, depending on how their chiefs determined it affected combat readiness among those deployed, or preparing to deploy.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has issued a statement saying the issue is already settled. The Democrat said the Senate, controlled by her party, would never pass such an amendment and the President would never sign it.

Feinstein said, at a time when the state is facing so many economic challenges, it is time to move forward on California’s needs, not look backward to “derail equality.”

San Diego congressman Bob Filner reacted to the proposal by saying, "Mr. Hunter, of all people, should know that the elimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell increases the efficiency and readiness of our armed forces.”