Murkowski, Begich split on defense vote

Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010

JUNEAU - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has joined with Republican colleagues to block legislation that would have allowed gay troops to serve openly.

Harry Hamburg / The Associated Press
Harry Hamburg / The Associated Press

Thursday's vote followed Murkowski's statement a day earlier in which she expressed support for repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But the provision was tucked into a larger defense bill and Murkowski also said she'd oppose moving that broad bill forward if Democrats didn't allow for an "open and fair amendment process."

Spokesman Michael Brumas said that for Murkowski to support repeal of the policy she needed a full debate on the defense authorization bill.

Alaska's Democratic senator, Mark Begich, voted for the bill.

Begich said he was disappointed the Senate was "playing politics" instead of addressing the needs of troops by passing the legislation.

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