Several media outlets are reporting that Congress may schedule a vote this week to repeal the highly controversial "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, which bans openly gay individuals from serving in the military.
The proposed vote comes as a surprise to many conservatives, as the Pentagon has yet to complete its year-long evaluation of how to best implement a new policy.
Many political pundits believe that the Democrats are pushing for an early vote because the review is not expected to be completed until December 2010, a month after the upcoming congressional elections.
While Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Congress "in the strongest possible terms" two weeks ago to hold off a vote on the measure until the Pentagon’s evaluation has been completed, it seems as if he is now willing to step aside, according to ABC News.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that Gates "continues to believe that ideally a review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the "don’t ask, don’t tell" law. With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment."
Representative Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) is expected to propose the repeal later this week in an amendment to the annual defense spending bill.