Yesterday the Senate rejected a motion by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to cut off debate and proceed to a final vote on the FY2011 Defense Authorization bill. The procedural vote needed 60 votes, but garnered only 58. The only Republican to vote for the motion was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). The failure probably ended, for this Congress at least, repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy concerning gays serving openly in the military. Senate Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have consistently opposed the repeal since it was included in the bill reported out by the Senate Armed Services Committee in May. At this time the fate of the defense authorization bill in this Congress is uncertain. Before the procedural vote yesterday, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said if the Senate did not finish action quickly there was little chance Congress had the time to approve a bill to send to the president before adjournment next week. If an authorization bill is not passed and signed before the end of the year, the authority for a number of important military special pays and bonuses will expire and DoD will be unable to proceed with multiyear buys. Recognizing this problem, the House extended these authorities in its FY2011 year-long continuing appropriations bill. The House appropriations bill also would allow the Secretary of Defense to ask Congress for approval to transfer funds in FY2011 for new starts and increases in production quantities in case Congress can’t pass an authorization bill.