Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine says she supports the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but indicates she will join the Republican filibuster against proceeding to the Department of Defense Authorization bill if Senate Majority Leader Reid does not allow her Republican colleagues the opportunity to be heard and offer amendments to the bill.
Senate Democrats attached repeal of policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military to the bill authorizing $726 billion in military spending next year. The vote to break the filibuster is scheduled for this afternoon.
Collins called for a full and open debate in her statement, while reiterating her support for the repeal.
"I find myself on the horns of a dilemma, I support the provisions in this bill," she said. "I think it is the right thing to do. I think it is only fair... But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down the debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair. So, I'm going to make plea to my colleagues to enter into a fair time agreement that will allow full and open debate, full and open amendments to all provisions of this bill including Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Collins' support is important for Democrats who need support from one or two Republicans in order to break a Republican-led filibuster of the DOD authorization bill.
John Nolen is a CBS News Capitol Hill Producer. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.