The President’s Priorities

Evan McMorris-Santoro tells us today about President Obama’s legislative priorities:

Sources on the Hill are telling me a big reason DADT repeal isn’t moving faster comes right from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Despite President Obama’s public support for repeal, with DADT stacked up against the START nuclear arms reduction treaty that Obama carefully brokered with the Russians earlier this year, the White House is putting its legislative push behind START.

….No one questions that Obama wants to see DADT end, or that he wants to see it end this year. The concern is over the priorities: Obama, it seems, wants START to come first. And with the White House pushing START (in daily phone calls from top White House officials, according to one source on the Hill), Obama could end up standing in the way of DADT getting done.

“The White House has been crystal clear that their number one priority in this lame duck session is START,” said one Senior Democratic aide.

If this is true, it’s very disappointing. New START can pass next year; DADT can’t. It’s that simple. Repeal of DADT should come first and New START should follow.

UPDATE: TPM reports that Harry Reid has filed for cloture on DADT, which means the Senate will vote on Saturday. Good news.