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Counting the votes: Enough to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'?

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“The secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff asked Congress to respect the process they developed to study the ramifications of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ ” Congressman McKeon said in a statement. “Republicans in the House feel we have a duty to honor that request…”

Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s top Republican, said he also opposes efforts to change the policy now.

“This 'don’t ask, don’t tell' issue, they’re going to try to jam that through without even trying to figure out what the impact on battle effectiveness would be,” Senator McCain said on Arizona’s KBLU radio.

Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts, seen as a potential swing vote because he is a Republican who represents the Democratic-leaning state of Massachusetts, has also said he would vote against the repeal.

Although Republicans have said they would not ask their members to vote along party lines, there is speculation that they may vote as a bloc against the bill, which had bipartisan support in committee.

Still, analysts say the repeal amendment is likely to pass in the House.

“On the House side, the votes are there,” says Christopher Neff, deputy executive director at the Palm Center, a research institute at the University of California Santa Barbara.

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