Late Monday, the White House released the following letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, (I-Conn.), concerning his compromise amendment to repeal the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy covering gay and lesbian members in the U.S. military.
Lieberman is due to submit his amendment to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week as it considers the larger Defense Authorization bill, the principal legislative vehicle to set and refine national defense policy.
Here is the full transcript of that letter:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 24, 2010
Attached please find a letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag in response to a letter from Senators Levin, Lieberman and Congressman Patrick Murphy regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Lieberman:
I am writing in response to your May 24, 2010, letter to the President. While ideally the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 would be completed before the Congress takes any legislative action, the Administration understands that Congress had chosen to move forward with legislation now and seeks the Administration's views on the proposed amendment. Accordingly, the Administration is of the view that the proposed amendment meets the concerns raised by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The proposed amendment will allow for completion of the Comprehensive Review, enable the Department of Defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure that the implementation of the repeal is consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention. The amendment will also guarantee that the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations needed to successfully implement the repeal. Furthermore, such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights, and suggestions. The Administration therefore supports the proposed amendment.
Peter R. Orszag