The Obama administration has asked the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay hearings on the fate of the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, because the president expects to discuss it in Wednesday’s address to Congress, the committee chairman said today.
Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat and chairman of the committee, told reporters that senior Pentagon officials asked him to postpone the hearings, because they do not want to be put in the position of discussing or defending a policy that the White House might abandon.
President Obama campaigned on a promise to press Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,’’ the Clinton-era law that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. But the plan met with resistance inside the Pentagon, where senior military leaders have been engaged in discussions about whether and how to roll it back.
Gay rights advocates have been prodding Mr. Obama to live up to his pledge, and have been eagerly awaiting the Armed Services hearings.