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Dems push 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, GOP blasts 'show' vote

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Notable quotes from the Senate debate over the Pentagon authorization bill, which includes a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, as compiled by the CNN Wire:

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine:

"I think it's the right thing to do. I think it's only fair. I think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country. But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down the debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky:

"It's really quite astonishing. Democrats have called up this bill, not to have a vote on it or to consider amendments to help our troops in the field but to put on a show."

Video: Lieberman: 'Don't ask' 'un-American'

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut:

"The opponents of repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' don't have the votes to take it out of the bill. And that's one reason why they're fighting so hard not to let the bill come up."

Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada:

"Today's vote isn't about an arcane Senate procedure. It's about a GOP pattern of obstructing debate on policies important to the American people."

Gen. James Amos, nominee for commandant of the Marine Corps:

"The Marine Corps is probably one of the most faithful services you have in our country. And if the law is changed by Congress and signed by the president of the United States, the Marine Corps will get in step and do it smartly."

Video: 'Don't ask, don't tell' on the line

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona:

"Why would the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the majority leader ignore the very explicit recommendation of the four service chiefs? You can only draw one conclusion: November 2 is a few days away. The president of the United States, we well know, made a commitment to the gay and lesbian community that he would, as one of his priorities, repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell.' And so now, looking at a bleak electoral situation, we are now going to jam this thing through, or try to ... in direct contravention to the views of our service chiefs."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan:

"This policy must change. Because an election was coming up? Secretary Gates, a Republican, decides this policy must change because there's an election is coming up? Of course not. It's because they reached a conclusion: The policy needs to change."