As the repeal of the military's gay ban edges closer, Republicans are finding more ways to derail the effort.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) announced on the Senate floor Friday that many of his Republican colleagues may vote against the new START nuclear treaty with Russia if Democrats move forward with a plan to vote on "don't ask, don't tell" repeal Saturday.
"I want to say to our presiding officer that what's happened over the course of the last 12 hours is by filing cloture last night on 'don't ask, don't tell' and on the DREAM Act during a lame duck session in the middle of a START treaty, what it says is that Republicans -- and I don't even like to use partisan labels here -- but Republicans, 'y'all need to rise up above partisanship and deal with foreign policy in a bipartisan way, but in the midst of that, we're going to throw some partisan issues in here that our campaign promises we made over the course of this last year as we ran for election.'" Corker said.
"I have to tell you what this has done. I've been in three meetings this morning. What's happening is it poisons the well on this debate on something that's very, very important. I don't want to see that happen. I'm not someone who comes down here and says fiery things to terrorize and divide. But I'm hoping that saner minds will prevail," he said.
"These issues that have been brought forth are absolutely partisan political issues, brought forth to basically accommodate activist groups around this country," he continued. "I'm hoping that those will be taken down or I don't think the future of the START treaty over the next several days is going to be successful... I'm hoping that's going to change."
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent noted that he has heard rumors for days that Republicans would use "don't ask, don't tell" repeal as an excuse not to pass START.
"This isn't really a threat on Corker's part," Sargent wrote. "Rather, he's saying -- in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger way -- that his GOP colleagues will be less likely to support START unless Reid drops his plan for DADT and DREAM votes right away."