[Updated at 3:22 p.m.] The White House is "disappointed" at the Senate vote blocking the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, "but we'll keep trying," spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
[Posted at 3:04 p.m.] A defense bill that includes the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy failed to advance in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as Republicans closed ranks to keep the bill from coming up for debate.
The bill stalled on a 56-43 vote, four short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican-led filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, joined the opposition as a tactical move, allowing him to bring it up later.
Republicans stood united against the measure even though some GOP senators favor lifting the Pentagon's requirement that gays and lesbians keep their sexuality a secret. Republican opponents complained that Democratic leaders are limiting the debate and could have refused to allow GOP amendments to the broader National Defense Authorization Act, which included the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal provision.
GOP senators also disliked Reid's plan to add an immigration-related provision to the defense bill. Reid wants to tack on a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for students and soldiers who are children of illegal immigrants.