WASHINGTON, DC — A leading House Republican wants to re-instate the military’s former ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy if his party takes control in November.
In an interview with ThinkProgress at the Values Voters Summit on Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said he “certainly” supports “going back to the previous policy” of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He left open the possibility that those service-members who have already come out of the closet, like Brig. General Tammy Smith, would be discharged from the military if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is reinstated.
KEYES: Is [Don’t Ask Don’t Tell] something that you think the GOP will pursue reinstating starting in 2013 if they take control?
JORDAN: I wasn’t for making the change that was made last few years ago in the lame duck session. I was certainly opposed to that, the change that the Obama administration made. We’ll look at guidance from our military, but I’m certainly supportive of going back to the previous policy.
KEYES: What about those service-members who have already announced their sexual orientation? Are they going to get kicked out?
JORDAN: That’s a military question. I’d have to think about how that would work in practice.
Though first elected in 2006, Jordan is no back-bencher. He chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 160 Republican congressmen dedicated to pushing conservative causes that wields major influence within the GOP caucus.
If Jordan were to ask the military about reinstating DADT as he suggests, he would learn that the Pentagon believes that last year’s repeal was actually beneficial for unit morale, and that none of the concerns expressed by opponents of the decision have come to fruition. In addition, there wasconsiderable support for lifting the ban on openly gay and lesbian people serving in the military from the heads of three of the four branches of the military even before DADT was repealed.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) has previously indicated that he would not like to see Republicans bring up Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but his opposition may not be enough to stop Jordan and the Republican Study Committee from reinstating the policy if the GOP prevails in November.